Teaching Trauma-Sensitive Yoga
A Practical Guide
A practical, hands-on, experienced-based guide for teaching trauma-sensitive yoga
Canadian Forces veteran turned yoga teacher Brendon Abram combines his first-hand experience with PTSD in the field and years of teaching to offer this practical guide to bringing trauma-sensitive yoga to both clinical and studio settings. Drawing on his work with military veterans, first responders, and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, Abram emphasizes the importance of respecting the uniqueness of every individual, and demonstrates how to use the foundational principles of yoga to create a safe experience. He explains that basic principles of yoga bring power to the practice and that breath, mindful movement, focused awareness, and acceptance of present moment experience form the foundation of any yoga offering, including trauma-sensitive yoga. He describes approaches to trauma sensitive yoga for both the clinical population and the general population in a studio setting, and delineates the differences between the two.
About the Author
BRENDON ABRAM is a 30 year veteran of the Canadian Forces who served with the United Nations in El Salvador and NATO in Bosnia. A Yoga Alliance registered EYT (experienced yoga teacher), he has trained with David Emerson, is certified by the Trauma Centre in Boston to teach trauma sensitive yoga, and has taught yoga to United States Military veterans with PTSD. He was also an instructor for a research study that examined the effects of yoga on people recovering from operational trauma. As an associate at Trent View Counselling in Trenton, Ontario, Abram has worked under the direct supervision of a clinical psychologist for the past three years to teach yoga-based self-regulation practices to those living with trauma and other stress related disorders. He has worked with military veterans, first responders, and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Applying what he has learned in the clinic, Abram frequently teaches trauma sensitive yoga at teacher trainings and Yoga Alliance certified workshops to yoga teachers and mental health care professionals.