Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training (for therapists, yoga teachers and mindfulness instructors) - 10/22/2015

  • Presented By: The Refuge and Wavelengths Yoga Studio
  • Speaker / Facilitator: Sarah Schlote, MA, CCC, SEP and Caroline Owen, BA, E-RYT500
  • Topic Area: Counseling Modalities / Treatment Options

  • Start Date: 10/22/2015
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Daily Schedule: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Registration Deadline: Early bird rate ends August 15 - registration ends October 20

  • Location: 5720 Forgets Road (Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre Wyebridge, Ontario, L0K 2E0
  • Fee Info: Early bird rate available up until August 15
  • Open To:

  • Continuing Education Units: 30
  • CEU Info: CEUs through Yoga Alliance and in the process of getting approval through Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

  • Contact Information: Sarah Schlote, MA, CCC, SEP at 1-855-7REFUGE or

A four-day workshop retr eat for yoga teachers, therapists and mindfulness instructors to help them understand the effects of trauma on themselves and their students/clients. Learn how to create a safe and welcoming environment, and how to minimize the risk of triggering someone''s past trauma in a yoga class or when introducing meditative techniques. 

Many trauma survivors seek out yoga to support them in their healing journey. However, without the proper awareness or safeguards in place, the very practice of yoga can be unintentionally retraumatizing. The act of becoming more mindfully present through focus on the breath or the body can trigger memories, emotions or phsyical sensations that are painful or overwhelming, leaving some students discouraged, upset or coping by bottling up, overriding or dissociating, reluctant to return.

This retreat is intended to provide a better understanding of: 

  • The neurobiology/physiology of trauma, 
  • How emotional dysregulation occurs and how to recognize it in our students (and ourselves!)
  • Why certain yoga and mindfulness practices can backfire, and concrete ways to make the practice of yoga - whether individually or in a group class - emotionally and physically safer. 
  • The Panchamaya (Koshas) model of yoga therapy and how it applies to trauma 
  • Chakras and trauma 
  • Understanding the role of dissociation in trauma and “spiritual bypass” 
  • How the language used in many classes can be triggering, and how to use language to create a safe environment full of choice and control for the student.
  • Using somatic exercises to help a student to reorient to the present (coming out of a trauma/fight/flight response).
  • Which asanas are generally more soothing vs. more triggering for students.
  • The complex and multidimensional aspects of trauma from both a Western and Eastern view.
  • Neuroception, interoception and proprioception 
  • Polyvagal theory and the vagus nerve in relation to trauma
  • The role of the psoas muscle in trauma 
  • Working with dukha / sukha (pendulations between trauma and healing, constriction and expansion)
  • Anatomy of the breath, its relationship with trauma and the nervous system, and how to teach breath techniques safely and effectively.

Through a combination of lecture material, case examples and hands-on practices and exercises, participants will develop a better understanding of how to incorporate trauma-informed principles in their yoga teaching, alternative practices that may be less triggering or activating for students, and other consdierations for increasing student safety, stabilization, choice, voice and control. 

Pre-requisites: Participants must be enrolled in, or have completed a yoga teacher training of at least 200 hours, or be a psychotherapist, social worker or other therapist.

Continuing Education Credits. Yoga Alliance registered yoga teachers (RYT200 and RYT500) are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every 3 years. This workshop provides participants with a certificate for 30 hours of continuing education credits (upon request).

This workshop takes place at Sugar Ridge, in Wyebridge, Ontario (near Midland/Penatanguisene). Partipants are responsible for arranging their own accommodations through Sugar Ridge directly. If you live in the area and would like to stay at home, Sugar Ridge also offers commuter fees, either with or without meals included. Please contact Sugar Ridge directly to choose the package that works best for you. or 1-866-609-1793. Their rates are very reasonable, and you can expect to pay about $400 plus tax for 4 nights accommodation, high quality meals, and full use of the facilities.

The cost for the workshop (not including accommodation or commuter fees at Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre) is $495 plus HST ($559.35). This can be paid by e-transfer to, or through Paypal or credit card by clicking on the paypal link below (a 3% admin fee is applied to Paypal and credit card payments).