July 28, 2017

Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TC-TSY) was specifically developed at the Trauma Centre in Brookline Massachusettes. It is a group intervention for adults affected by traumatic stress, which incorporates yoga principles and practices. TC-TSY aims to support emotion regulation, stabilization, and skill building for adults with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); complex PTSD; dissociative disorders; and other related emotional and behavioral problems.

The program is based on the central components of the hatha style of yoga, which focuses on integrating breathing and meditation with a set of physical postures and movements. In TC-TSY, elements of traditional hatha yoga are modified to maximize tolerance, build trauma survivors’ experiences of empowerment, and cultivate a more positive relationship to one’s body. Trauma-informed alterations to accommodate unique needs and sensitivities include prioritizing gentleness in movement, removing strongly suggestive language, de-emphasizing posture intensity, eliminating hands-on assistance from the instructor, and highlighting opportunities for participants to adjust the practice and make selections that feel appropriate for themselves.

The four overarching themes of the intervention are to 1) experience the present moment, 2) make choices, 3) take effective action, and 4) create rhythms.

Megan Hughes has received training in TCTSY through the “Healing Trauma through Yoga” program at the Trauma Center in Brookline Massachusettes. She incorporates the approaches to physicality and healing trauma taught in this program in her work with trauma survivors.