Survivors of trauma are at high risk of being re-traumatized by triggers as simple as tone, verbiage or body language. We beleive it is our duty as yoga instructors to give these survivors tools so they can feel better in the moment, and to continue the healing process long term. Trauma affects people in different ways. These are guidelines to work on creating a safeplace for those who have experienced trauma. Each persons experience will be different and there is a chance you will trigger someone without intending to. All you can do as a leader is try your best, become informed, and keep learning.
Here are 3 ways you can make your yoga class more trauma informed:
1.Do your homework: Research trauma to gain an understanding of what it is, who it affects, and more. Click here for a PDF with more information for you to understand trauma. Take a trauma informed yoga training to supplement your understanding and teaching practices. Click here for more information on our trauma informed trainings.
2.Ask before touching: Empower your students in their bodies by letting them decide if they are assited or not. We use an assisting token with a green side and a red side. When the student places the red side up this means to say they prefer to not be touched during their practice.
3. Give Options: You do not know what it’s like to be in your students body. Your student might need to rest in child’s pose, keep their eyes open, or modify in a different way, and that is perfectly okay. You do not know what might be a trigger for your students, so allow them to have agency and options in their class.