Trauma Conscious Yoga

Trauma (big or small) is experience, or experiences, we hold in our bodies, affecting the nervous system. Movement — here specifically yoga— helps move that stuck trauma.

Dawn offers a gentle yoga class, grounded in choice, with a rhythm of engage, integrate, rest. This trauma-informed class offers space to reclaim and befriend your body, specifically aimed to support healing from post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and the challenges that come along with it, such as anxiety, depression, or being “stuck.”

Movement, breath-work, meditation, sound healing, and journaling are used to move stuck trauma.

Classes are offered to groups or individuals, or as part of a custom retreat.

Contact Dawn for additional information.

Client Testimonial: 

“I have had the pleasure of Dawn's yoga instruction for 6 months now, since the start of the pandemic which coincided with a challenging time for me emotionally. She tailored our sessions to my skill level, and I appreciate the inspiring quotes that she incorporates into each class, and her gentle, spiritual, intuitive approach. Her personal yoga journey is inspiring to me, she has helped me tremendously!"

– Jennifer

“Call out to the whole divine night for what you love. What you stand for. Earn your name. Be kind, and wild, and  disciplined, and absolutely generous."
Dr. Martin Shaw

More About Trauma Conscious Yoga:

An April 15, 2022 article from The Cleveland Clinic shares the following information:

How Yoga Can Help Heal Trauma


The healing benefits of trauma-informed practices:

When we hear the word “trauma,” we often think of the worst moments of our lives. The ones that haunt us and make it harder to navigate through life. But sometimes, minor incidents can leave the deepest wounds. So, how can yoga help you heal? Here we’ll explain what trauma-informed yoga is and how you can benefit from it.   

What is trauma-informed yoga? 

When you experience trauma, it might be hard to pinpoint what you’re feeling. It’s also hard for your body and brain to comprehend everything. As a result, your muscles tense up and your brain might go into overdrive because you’re constantly trying to protect yourself. Eventually, you might shut down — or lash out. It doesn’t have to be a major event in someone’s life. It can be just something gradual — something insidious — that just slowly seeps in, and you don’t even realize it. Then, at some point, you realize that you don’t feel good and you’re not sure why. That’s trauma. 

Trauma-informed, or trauma-sensitive yoga, is not designed to take you back to the source of your pain. Its purpose is to help you become more aware of what’s going on in your body. Once you tap into that, you can work on releasing built-up emotions, stress and tension. 


How do trauma-informed yoga practices differ from traditional yoga practices? 

With trauma-sensitive yoga sessions, teachers are aware that people in the class may be living with trauma. So, they’ll offer options that will make students feel less vulnerable.   

One example of this is instead of asking students to close their eyes, a teacher might encourage them to lower their eyes or look down. In yoga, the purpose of closing your eyes is to eliminate distractions. But for someone who is living with trauma, it can be scary or unsettling to close the eyes.


What happens during one-on-one sessions? 

In a one-on-one session, there’s a lot more dialogue to develop a customized plan developed around an individual’s specific needs. It’s most important to create an environment that feels safe.


Breath-work also plays a huge role.  

We know the breath has a lot to do with how you feel. If you’re anxious, you tend to take short inhaling breaths and you don’t exhale all the way. So, we’re going to focus on the exhale. And if you’re depressed, we’re going to try to bring that energy up and focus on the inhale. Overall, there’s going to be a lot more checking in during a one-on-one session.

Benefits of Trauma Conscious Yoga:


It can help reduce symptoms of PTSD.

One study showed that trauma-informed yoga significantly reduced the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the effects of it were comparable to well-researched psychological and medicinal methods. The study involved 64 women who were living with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The women were randomly assigned to either trauma-informed yoga or supportive women’s health education. At the end of the study, 16 of 31 participants (52%) in the yoga group no longer met the criteria for PTSD as compared to six of 29 participants (21%) in the group that received women’s health education. 


It can help you slow down and focus on the present. 

Trauma can send your brain into overdrive. You might find yourself constantly on guard and unable to relax. Trauma-informed yoga can help you focus on what’s going on in that moment and recognize what’s going on in your body. It also can help you focus on your breath, which can greatly affect your mood.  


It can help you feel more connected and balanced.

When your mind is racing, your muscles are tense and you’re always on edge, you don’t feel like yourself — and you don’t feel like you’re safe. Trauma-informed yoga is practiced in a safe space with teachers or therapists who respect you and your boundaries. They can help you learn how to control and manage what your body and mind are going through. As you combine movement and breath, you start building back those mind/body connections. They can also help you understand and tolerate the sensations you’re feeling so you no longer feel like a stranger in your own body.  

“The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very close – the gratitude and the misery – and then, with a  semblance of faith, to let them fly."
Elizabeth Aquino