Embodied Empowerment Norfolk offers trauma sensitive yoga to support survivors of Complex Trauma, otherwise known as relational trauma. This includes those who have survived individual traumas, such as physical, psychological, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect, as well as those who have faced collective traumas such as social disadvantage, marginalisation, poverty, social discrimination, and dislocation. Research shows that when someone has experienced one type of trauma, they are more likely to experience another trauma. Those who have experienced more than one type of trauma are more likely to experience trauma symptoms.
Survivors of relational trauma have experienced a sense of powerlessness. They often feel disconnected from their bodies and may find it difficult to make empowering choices for themselves in daily life. When difficult or stressful things have happened repeatedly in the context of relationships, it is common to struggle with our boundaries and understanding our needs - especially when we are navigating relationships with other people.
What is trauma sensitive yoga?
Trauma sensitive yoga is a community practice (two or more people) that aims to create predictable relationships that support you to connect with how you feel, and learn to make choices based on what you notice. Reconnecting to a felt-sense-of-self can affirm a sense of agency, creating neural pathways that support a positive relationship to your body and a sense of empowerment.
The term "trauma sensitive yoga" was originally coined by David Emerson, a yoga teacher in America who was working to co-create "safe enough" yoga spaces with students who had experienced trauma. In 2002, David collaborated with psychiatrist Bessel Van der Kolk (author of "The Body Keeps the Score") and his clinic, The Trauma Center, in Brookline, Massachusetts to research what was helping these students, solidify the core elements of the practice, and research its effectiveness. Trauma Center, Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TC TSY), the first evidence-based yoga programme for the treatment of trauma, was born.
Jenn Turner and Dave Emerson, co-founders of the Center for Trauma and Embodiment, discuss "What is TC TSY?"