By Ann Bortz, Psy.D, E-RYT 200, RYT-500

The words “Trauma” and “Trauma-Informed Yoga” have become popular in our modern Western yoga culture, but what do they actually mean? And how can we deliver clinically sensitive classes informed by neuroscience, mindfulness, and the most recent research on trauma?

In the profound Introduction to Mindful, Trauma-Informed Yoga course, Dr. Ann Bortz offers research-based insight on how trauma impacts the body and mind, and how yoga teachers can weave this awareness into supportive, trauma-aware yoga classes. Dr. Bortz is a licensed clinical psychologist with a professional background of 25 years in service to sensitive populations ranging from veterans and refugees to children’s hospitals in clinical and yoga settings. It is from her depth of experience that she has carefully crafted this introductory course that gives yoga teachers a foundational understanding of how yoga serves as a helpful framework for working with trauma.

Introduction to Mindful, Trauma-Informed Yoga begins with a lecture and concludes with an hour-long yoga practice. The lecture offers approachable trauma theory and its impact on the brain and the nervous system to illustrate how yoga can be a supplemental therapeutic intervention for traumatized individuals. Through the yoga practice, you will gain an embodied understanding of the kind of breathing, movement, theming, languaging, cueing, and pacing – all of which are essential elements to include in a mindful, trauma-informed yoga class.

In this online course, you will gain a grounded understanding of:

  • The difference between everyday stress and clinically significant trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Statistics regarding the prevalence and cost of trauma
  • How trauma dysregulates the brain, the nervous system, and the body
  • How yoga can help regulate the brain, the nervous system, and the body.
  • How the addition of mindfulness can increase the healing power of trauma-informed yoga.
  • Appropriate and inappropriate aims for a mindful, trauma-informed yoga class

Course Features:

  • 2 hours of online content
  • An informative course handout available for download
  • An online quiz with a downloadable certificate as proof of completion & CEU hours
  • 2 hours of teacher training credit for those enrolled in the Yoga Medicine 500hr or 1000hr program
  • This course is available on demand and does not expire, so you can always return to practice and revisit the material to deepen your understanding over time.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for yoga teachers who have a deep interest in yoga as an adjunctive therapeutic intervention for traumatized individuals. This introductory course is NOT intended as a replacement for psychotherapy or as a standalone treatment for individuals who have been traumatized.

About your teacher:

Ann Bortz, Psy.D., E-RYT 500 is a doctoral level, licensed clinical psychologist, with a specialty in trauma, who has maintained a professional psychology practice for over 25 years. Over that time she has worked with physically and sexually abused children and teens, adult sexual assault survivors, war veterans, recently resettled refugees, and asylum seekers.

Deeply interested in the interplay of psychology and yoga, Dr. Bortz was certified as a yoga teacher in 2004. In 2005, she pioneered a yoga therapy program for traumatized teens in residential care. At the research division of the Veteran’s Administration in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain MIRECC, Dr. Bortz developed and is currently implementing a targeted yoga intervention for veterans who are coping with such conditions as traumatic brain injury and PTSD.