Introducing Trauma Informed Yoga: Language Matters

Yoga has long been known for its calming and healing effects. Yet, when working with students who have special needs or traumatic experiences, teachers must be equipped to use language in a mindful manner that is respectful of each student’s unique journey.



In order to create an environment in which all can feel safe and appreciated, it’s important for trauma-informed yoga practitioners to understand the importance of creating language guidelines upfront. This includes explaining the physical adjustments made during postures as well as offering verbal cues that let everyone know they are supported and accepted without judgment or assumption.


The primary goal of any form of yoga should be one that promotes self regulation rather than dictate how someone should act upon instruction. Framing safety first may mean cautions like avoiding phrases such as “tighten your core muscles” (which could trigger memories related to chronic pain) instead of opting for “you are free to find relaxation throughout your torso.” Much thought surrounding exact phrasing will come from understanding the specific needs of your class through reflective teaching practices.


This compassionate awareness allows us to show up confident, yet aware in our practice by fostering meaningful relationships built on mutual trust within our classes. It encourages communication between teacher and student, further cultivating a sense where we share autonomy over movement choices, resulting in more holistic health outcomes beyond just proper alignment instructions, but respecting individual boundaries & abilities too!


Trauma-informed yoga brings forth additional considerations outside mere poses and taking time afterward unto itself allows individuals time to integrate calmness built off intentional breathing exercises & mental resilience tools.


Awakened Spirit offers online 15 HR Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Trainings! Check out our upcoming dates here.

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