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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between Trauma-Informed Yoga and Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga?

Both models are complementary yet different in a number of ways. The Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) model was developed by David Emerson, E-RYT under the direction of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Similar to TCTSY, Trauma-Informed Yoga integrates trauma neuroscience and attachment theory, emphasizes invitational language, and fosters student choice, empowerment, and effective action. Both models also explore the idea of befriending the body through mindful awareness of body sensations (interoception). TCTSY has the distinction of being the first yoga practice that was clinically studied for its relevance and effectiveness for PTSD, and is offered in two main formats: for yoga teachers, and for clinicians who may not have a yoga background but are interested in bringing the body into therapy.

Unlike TCTSY, which follows a very specific protocol and is considered a distinct yoga style, Trauma-Informed Yoga teaches additional principles and practices that can be integrated into a yoga teacher’s existing yoga style(s) in order to make mainstream yoga safer for trauma survivors. Trauma-Informed Yoga also draws extensively from Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory model, as well as principles drawn from other trauma and attachment neuroscience experts, to help yoga teachers understand why some postures, movements, breath and mindfulness practices may be triggering. These trauma models provide helpful, practical tools, principles and frameworks that are not taught in TCTSY and that align with many principles taught in Yoga Therapy and in the ancient texts, thereby providing a comprehensive and nuanced integration of Eastern and Western traditions. The Trauma-Informed Yoga Training also emphasizes yoga teacher therapeutic presence, self-regulation and self-care and offers equal parts professional development and personal growth. Finally, the Trauma-Informed Yoga Training has applications and relevance for mindfulness and meditation instructors, but unlike TCTSY is only open to therapists who have completed yoga teacher training.

I’m not a yoga teacher, but would like to attend, and my friend is partway through her yoga teacher training and is also interested in coming. May we register?

This is a great question. Unfortunately, this is a professional training – whether offered in a retreat format or not – and is only open to yoga teachers or mindfulness instructors. However, your friend is welcome to attend, even though she hasn’t completed her yoga teacher training yet. For more information about admission requirements, please click here.

Is your training registered for Continuing Education credits?

Wavelengths Yoga Studio and School, run by Caroline Owen, is registered with Yoga Alliance and the Trauma-Informed Yoga Training counts towards continuing education requirements with this association.

The Trauma-Informed Mindfulness Training has been pre-approved for continuing education credits with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Participants receive a certificate of participation with the number of training hours included, which can be submitted to other professional bodies for consideration for CE credits. Professional associations often allow members to submit applications about trainings completed to be considered for CE credit, so be sure to look into your organization’s procedures.

I am interested in bringing the training to my area. Are you willing to travel?

Yes! We are happy to take this training on the road and come to your city, province, state or country. For more information, please visit Host a Training or contact us to discuss availability and logistics.

What does this training “certify” me to do?

These experiential learning trainings offer numerous practical techniques, skills, frameworks and principles that you can practice on yourself and integrate into your work with students/clients. The degree to which you can integrate this material into your existing work will depend on the ethical and legal limits of your scope of practice as well as your current level of comfort, training and experience. This training will not qualify you to be a yoga teacher, mindfulness or meditation instructor, Yoga Therapist, trauma therapist or Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner – further extensive training is required to obtain these credentials.

The Trauma-Informed Yoga Training and Trauma-Informed Mindfulness Training are not considered to be certifications. We concur with and follow Canadian and international best standards on certification (International Standard ISO/IEC 17024) that, to enhance credibility and protect the best interest of training participants and their students, certification should come from independent and nationally recognized professional associations, and not from the organization(s) or individual(s) providing the training.

Furthermore, it is not ethically or logistically possible for us to fully assess or guarantee that a particular participant has integrated the material in their professional practice to any degree of proficiency without a more formal and in-depth on-site evaluation, personal mentoring process, and continuing education “refresher” requirements, which are within the purview of a professional association to administer. As a result, we discourage participants from claiming they have completed a “certification” in trauma-informed yoga or trauma-informed mindfulness following attendance at our trainings. However, certificates of attendance will be provided after each level, and you are welcome to let prospective students know that you have completed training in trauma-informed yoga/mindfulness.

Do you offer a “train the trainer” program?

Many experienced and talented practitioners have approached us to inquire about the possibility of becoming trainers in the Trauma-Informed Yoga model. We are currently exploring how we might develop a “train the trainer” program and more information about this process will provided once available. At present, in order to maintain the integrity of the program, a minimum requirement will be for prospective trainers to have completed an in-depth yoga therapy training or be a Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner.

Have a question that you don’t see here? Contact us to inquire!