Trauma Informed Yoga Training

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I have a master’s degree in Developmental Sociology, and I’ve always been interested in such topics as International & community development, inequality, and poverty. I originally wanted to work for an International NGO and make the world a better place. Therefore I volunteered and interned for local NGOs in South Africa, Los Angeles, and Nicaragua. My life did not unfold exactly the way I imagined it. Instead of working for International NGO, I ended up as a yoga instructor J I perceived a pattern in my previous professions; i.e. they were always active jobs. My work always consisted of physical activity and interacting with people, thus I discovered my love of body movement with a focus on wellness. 

Ever since I became a yoga teacher, I knew something was missing. I still wanted to contribute to the community, be a part of social change, and provide service to others. I always wanted to combine my twin passions for sociology and yoga. So when I heard about Trauma-Informed Yoga Training, I was hooked. I believe in the power of yoga, but I did not know exactly how to teach yoga for healing. I knew yoga would be beneficial to many people for whom it was not easily accessible. I wanted to learn how to teach yoga to this specific population. Although I already have volunteer experience teaching yoga to women who have been abused, I felt like I did not know how to approach teaching yoga to those who have been affected by trauma.

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I typically teach yoga to those who can afford a gym or studio membership, and they have the privilege to be able to exercise. But people who are struggling to pay rent or have been the victims of domestic violence may not have the financial means or mental capacity to dedicate themselves to physical exercises. I wanted to share the benefits of yoga with people who do not typically fit into the common yoga student category. I wanted to teach the people are most likely to benefit from yoga but can’t afford it. I tried to sign up for a similar training last year but the timing was off. Earlier this month I was able to join a training program hosted by an organization called Uprising Yoga. 

Uprising Yoga is an amazing organization that brings yoga to places where yoga is not easily accessible: juvenile hall, community centers, fosters homes, group homes, high schools, probation officers, etc. The training I took lasted for two days, eight hours a day.  I had no idea what to expect. The class consisted of twelve people, plus a group of inspiring guest speakers who shared their experiences teaching yoga in specific environments. Many people who attended the training had undergone traumas of their own. Therefore the room was full of unimaginable stories, experiences, and ideas. I left each day feeling inspired and hopeful. This training has opened up my eyes to things I never thought about, and I hope this experience will continue to open more opportunities for me. 

I want to continue trying to offer healing yoga to many people who would normally not be able to have access to it. Over time I hope to improve my teaching skills in order to be able to offer healing through yoga to anyone who needs it.

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