Full Course Description

Neuroscience & Yoga in the Treatment of Trauma

Program Information


Neuroscience of Trauma

  • How the brain and nervous system are affected during trauma
  • Window of tolerance
  • Brain structures implicated in PTSD
  • Storage of traumatic vs. normal memories in the brain
  • Inability to process
What Makes Yoga Suitable for Trauma Survivors?
  • Brief introduction to yoga
  • Research findings and limitations
  • What yoga CAN and CANNOT accomplish in the treatment of trauma
  • Importance of focusing on the present moment
  • Increase the ability to tolerate pain and discomfort
  • Calm down the amygdala and sympathetic nervous system
  • Shift brain from negative bias to positive focus
Specific Yoga Techniques and Clinical Applications (with Lab)
  • Breath of Joy
  • Moving Warrior poses
  • Simple vinyasa (with visualization)
  • Meditation with mantra
  • Legs up the wall
  • Using yoga in individual treatment
  • Using yoga in group treatment
  • Limitations and potential risks
Educating Clients
  • Importance of personal yoga practice
  • Use neuroscience knowledge to explain the impact of trauma and usefulness of yoga
  • Referrals to appropriate classes
  • Teach one skill and encourage practicing it

Copyright : 08/09/2018

Bringing Trauma-Informed Yoga into Mental Health Clinical Practice

Program Information


The Yoga Tradition and Neuropsychology

  • Yoga, Patanjali and MIR’s
  • The importance of heart rate variability (HRV)
Embodied Psychotherapy
  • The Triune Brain: left out of traditional psychotherapy?
  • Regulating the brain’s trauma center
  • Tracking body sensation and breathing deeply
  • A frame of reference from Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Neuroplasticity and interpersonal neurobiology
Apply Trauma-Informed Yoga Postures in the Psychotherapy Session for PTSD, Anxiety and Depression
  • The evidence in evidence-based yoga practice
  • Yoga and polarities
  • Guided script for chair yoga:
    • 5 trauma-informed chair yoga postures
    • Guiding and integrating the poses into your existing treatment modality (EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, etc.)
  • Chair trauma-yoga:
    • Tracking body sensation
    • Gaining self-mastery
    • Increasing self-regulation
    • Expanding present-moment awareness
  • Experience a chair yoga warm up and posture sequence
Yoga and the Breath
  • Respiration and the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
  • Breathing techniques to regulate the ANS and calm symptoms of trauma, anxiety and depression
  • Experience the three-part deep breath and script
Structure of the Embodied Psychotherapy Session or Group
  • Evaluating the client
  • Opening the session
  • Healing polarities:
    • Inner/outer
    • Sympathetic/parasympathetic activation
    • Sensing/action
    • Cognitive/somatic
  • Healthy symptoms of trauma discharge
  • Key points in making referrals to yoga classes
Therapeutic Value of Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep)
  • The benefits of sleeping while awake
  • Varieties of Yoga Nidra
  • Guided experience of Satchidananda’s Yoga Nidra
  • Discussion of Yoga Nidra script
Using Meditation
  • The relaxation response
  • Mindfulness meditation: open-focused meditation
  • A guided experience of both styles of meditation
  • The benefits of meditation in the trauma psychotherapy session
Case Study

Copyright : 06/15/2018

Integrating Yoga Skills in Trauma Treatment: Mind-Body Interventions, Attachment, Mood & Self-Regulation

Program Information


  1. Utilize yogic practices as a gentle exposure strategy for addressing emotional numbing, triggering, and the overactivated sympathetic nervous system to improve trauma treatment outcomes.
  2. Utilize specific contemplative based interventions to improve mood, strengthen emotional regulation, and build secure attachment.
  3. Apply simple, effective movement and breath strategies to help clients to replace self-limiting beliefs with a focus on values based goals.


  • Stages of trauma treatment
    • A mind/body model
    • Building skills: integrating yoga effectively at each stage
  • Emotional regulation through breath, movement, and imagery:
  • How yoga builds self-regulation –  existing evidence and future directions
  • Yogic tools for self-regulation:
    • Grounding postures
      • Warrior- standing and chair adaptations
    • A gradual awakening from numbness
      • Opening the heart
    • Sound & movement with breath – The rolling Om 
    • Create a safe internal haven, resetting from rumination
      • Bhramari – enhancing security through breath and mudra
      • Pratipaksha bhavana – imaging the opposite
      • Reversing cognitive trends through posture
  • Titrating exposure to inner sensations
    • Individualizing the body scan
    • RAIN – four steps for building interoceptive awareness
  • Deepening inner resources: establishing a secure attachment to the self:
  • Addressing the challenge of developmental trauma
  • The neurobiology of attachment ruptures
  • Replicating the conditions for secure attachment
  • Inner resource imagery for grounding and self-regulation
  • Postures for establishing secure grounding
  • Stemming the backdraft: Applying yogic strategies for self-soothing and self-assurance:
    • Opening the heart to hold polarities – Anjali mudra
    • So-Hum Meditation with movement – Connecting with the secure self
    • Cultivating compassion through yogic approaches
      • Evidence linking yoga with compassion
      • Compassionate breathing meditation
      • A gentle yoga sequence for self-compassion
  • Transforming limiting beliefs through focusing on intentions and goals
    • A six-step, embodied exploration for releasing limiting beliefs, moving forward with goals
      • Challenge the “It’s not going to happen” belief
      • Reframe step by step goal progression
    • Identify and solidify meaningful goals through a visual meditation
      • Mandalas – the science and the application
        • Benefits of visual meditations
        • Therapist questioning to decode personal symbolism
        • Integrating the mandala experience through writing
  • Yogic deep relaxation – building the capacity for to reset
    • Retraining the sympathetic nervous system through yogic deep relaxation
      • How deep relaxation works – the evidence
      • Relaxing deeply in fifteen minutes or less


Copyright : 03/20/2019