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What is TIY?

TIY - Trauma Informed Yoga


This has been one of my longest standing things on my to do list - Write about TIY and share how a trauma informed lens changed me. My trauma informed training allowed me to see the world differently, recognise myself, recognise the trauma patterns that I hold, notice when I am not 'feeling myself or not my best' (feeling dysregulated), gave me context and the education to understand and change the habits that have held me back, deepen my self awareness and self compassion, and see how I interact and experience my daily life. It triggered the start of a very hard journey- painful, overwhelming, numbing and at the same time filled with many gifts!


Rosanne is a certified Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher


What Is Trauma Informed Yoga (TIY)?


Firstly I shall start with explaining what Trauma-informed yoga (mostly adapted from one of my essays that I wrote for my assessment, haha so it may have a more 'essay type of voice' in parts . But I took out the 'thus's haha).


TIY is an approach that recognises and addresses the impact of trauma on an individual's well-being. (You don't have to identify with having trauma to practice). The instructors are trained to hold a safe and supportive environment, emphasising principles like choice, curiosity, connection to body, empowerment and presence. Sessions focus on providing options and respecting individual's boundaries to build on a sense of safety, grounding, calm, connection and presence. Trauma-informed yoga often incorporates gentle movements, breathwork, and meditation, aiming to help individuals reconnect with their bodies and cultivate a sense of safety and self-compassion in the healing process. Over time processing of trauma felt in the body can be processed alongside a trained therapist. It is an inclusive and adaptable practice that considers the unique needs of those who have experienced trauma. For me trauma informed yoga is a pathway to come back home into the body.


What TIY is not:


  • A quick fix to healing trauma

  • Therapy or counselling

  • A talk therapy space to delve into stories and past (as most TIY Teacher are not trained for this)

  • Regular yoga class

“The essence of trauma is disconnection from ourselves. Trauma is not terrible things that happen from the other side—those are traumatic. But the trauma is that very separation from the body and emotions.” - Gabor Maté 

As a facilitator this means creating a safe space, where TIY classes are guided with non-judgement and invitational language and qualities such as authenticity, curiosity, self awareness and the willingness to to engage on self study, humility and presence. These are so key as when working with trauma, we are holding a space for people’s lives, vulnerable parts and life experiences. In my experience as a TIY student, the class feels more held with choice, a focus on safety and curiosity, slower pace, grounding as a key foundation and more collaborative with the teacher’s full, non-judgmental presence; there is an invitation to explore the practices together.


When experiencing trauma, it is the inability to be in the here and now; it can be characterised as feeling trapped, overwhelmed, panic, stuck (stuck in nothingness, numbness) or feeling disconnected. A disconnect to our own embodied experiences; to feel what is in the present. With awareness and psychoeducation, teaching ourselves it is safe to reconnect, to feel safe to be present; we can start to see choice. We become aware of what safety feels like, we become more aware of what dysregulated feels like. With that awareness we can choose how to respond; we start to feel unstuck. We begin the process of healing.

What TIY Classes Look Like (with Goh Yoga)?


Each session will be different from person to person (as from TIY teacher to teacher, so I am only speaking from my experience). The practice will invite you into a space of enquiry and learning as you are guided to discover grounding, curiosity, self regulation, exploration of your nervous system and understand your window of tolerance. This will be a non-judgmental, compassionate space to resource and connect to finding safety in your own body. Choice, consent, invitations, curiosity, connection to grounding and safety are at the core of each class. This is a collaborative process and so the sessions may not be what is usually considered as a regular yoga practice. 


“Trauma-informed yoga is a specialist branch of yoga which helps people recover from the impact of trauma on the body, brain, emotions and sense of self. The first stage is focused on creating safety, learning to manage difficult emotions and beginning to address trauma-related patterns...The second stage processes trauma held in the body, discharges survival responses and releases unresolved emotions. The final stage involves integration – reflecting on the recovery journey and planning for the next steps.” - Susi Wrenshaw - Trauma Therapy Manchester

Who I Trained With?

I am so grateful for my TIY training with Trauma Therapy Manchester which was an experiential, integrative, enriching course where learning is stripping back what I thought I knew, to take a real look at myself - who I am, what it is to be me, how I live my life and to become a witness of my relationship with myself and with others. I feel a more embodied version of what it is to be trauma informed. This course has allowed me to start to be more curious, compassionate, heal, aware and understand my triggers; to hold space for me which allows me to hold space for others. Understanding an embodied version that 'you can't pour from an empty cup', that you must feel resourced and full yourself to help and offer space for others. It has been a journey (an overwhelming one 🥲 and I remind myself, I am still learning).


One of the tutors shared her wisdom that resonated strongly (something like): "We are stripped back to see ourselves, to become the witness and that is what trauma informed is. When we see our trauma, hold space for it we can then meet others where they are. "



😍🙏LOVE THIS!


This course validated something I felt I was aligning with and now it has words, content, education, meaning, purpose and an accreditation to it! I look forward to continue this journey and have more conversations to explore what it is to be trauma informed.


For more about Rosanne - https://www.gohyoga.com/about-me


For more about Embodied Healing - https://www.gohyoga.com/embodiedhealing

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