An Open Letter from a Trauma Therapist to Yoga Teachers: 7 Simple Ways to Make Your Classes More Trauma-Informed
A trauma therapist to yoga teachers writes a moving letter to enhance their sessions and to ensure that their classes should be more trauma-informed. While yoga is overall beneficial to everyone, there are certain forms of yoga that are more suitable for trauma patients. If they end up doing the wrong pose, their bodies might get retraumatized. It is necessary that they practice the right kind of yoga for proper healing.
It is necessary that a trauma therapist guides their patients to the right class. But, since this is not assured every time, it is better than all yoga classes get more trauma-informed. It is necessary that students do not think that ‘yoga is yoga’, even if they are not benefiting from it. They should know the intentions of their poses and only then perform them. Here are simple suggestions from a trauma therapist to yoga teachers on making your classes more trauma-informed.
Suggestions From A Trauma therapist To Yoga Teachers
Do not take trauma lightly. Many such patients are directed by physicians to take up yoga for healing. It is necessary that as a teacher, you are aware of the mental conditions of your students. Take simple precautions to assure optimal safety.
Review Protocol For A Safe Practice
Repeat often about the importance of going out for water or fresh air whenever the students feel like. Teach them the difference between slow-burn of stretch or overt pain. Do not encourage them to push themselves past their edge.
Avoid touching The Students Without Asking Permission
You might want to correct the alignment or the postures of a student, but never do that without asking their permission. This might freak them out or make them uncomfortable. Avoid correcting people from behind.
Make Yourself Available After Class For Discussions Or Queries
There may be students who want to speak to you about some discomfort or clear some doubts. Always be present for a few minutes after class. This will raise students’ confidence in your ways.
Students May Not Always Enjoy Closing Their Eyes
While you might suggest students to close their eyes to increase focus or relaxation, some trauma students may get some unpleasant memories. Some may feel claustrophobic. Give them the option of closing their eyes or opening their eyes at their own will. Give them the option of fixing their gaze at a particular spot.
Tell Them Repeatedly That Yoga Is Non-Competitive
Always tell your students that yoga is not a competition, but a self-journey. Always encourage the students to try doing a particular pose, and also tell them that if they can’t, then too, it’s fine.
Avoid Praising Your Favorite Students Publicly
If you do that, you are encouraging competition. Students should never feel poorly of themselves of not being able to come to your favorite student spot. Yoga is not a competition. Praise all the students equally.
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