Trauma Awareness Training for Yoga Teachers Module

Teachers: Maddy Smith and Rose Thorn

(visiting teacher Jenny Beeken)

Module 1: Wed 1st – Sun 5th May 2019

Module 2: Wed 10th – Sun 14th July 2019

Module 3: Wed 11th – Sun 15th September 2019

Introduction There is increasing evidence that Yoga is a valuable intervention to support people who are recovering from trauma. This is backed up by research and recent developments in the fields of neuroscience and trauma therapy. There is also a growing awareness of the importance of trauma sensitivity in all aspects of yoga teaching and this course has been developed to meet this specific training need.

The course is delivered in three modules to provide adequate time for integrating the learning. Attendance of all three modules is compulsory.

  • Module 1: Understanding Trauma – the basics
  • Module 2: The Impact and Effects of Trauma / Survival Responses
  • Module 3: Considerations for Teaching

This is an experiential course aimed at yoga teachers with all levels of teaching experience. It trains you to apply a trauma sensitive approach in all aspects of your teaching; it does not qualify you to deliver trauma treatments as a yoga therapist.

The aims of the course are for yoga teachers to:

  • understand what causes trauma and its impact on survivors
  • build confidence in how to hold a safe space for others who’ve experienced trauma
  • consider the needs of survivors and how this informs our teaching
  • be aware of the need for self-care when teaching survivors

Home study including further reading and reflective writing on your learning experience is required as course work. While this course may touch on people’s own personal experiences of trauma and may be therapeutic it is not a therapy group. You can raise any questions or concerns about this with the teachers as part of the application process.

The theory component of this course covers: causes of traumatic stress, impact on the nervous system, traumatic memory, trauma and attachment/relationships, long term impact on mental and physical health, awareness of coping strategies e.g. self-harm, substance use etc, and considerations for how to apply theory and knowledge to practice. Links to further information, reading and resources are provided.

The programme for this residential training includes:

  • daily asana classes – bringing the theory back into our felt body-mind experience
  • pranayama and meditation – periods of silence
  • evening satsang – yoga philosophy and group discussion

There is space and time for individual reflection and opportunities to enjoy the beautiful natural environment of West Wales.


Arrival times on the Wednesday are from 3pm, with a settling in asana class at 6-7pm followed by dinner at 7.30pm and Satsang at 8.15pm. Departure time on the Sunday is after a late lunch from 1-2pm.




The venue Over the Rainbow which provides good quality accommodation and delicious vegetarian/vegan food. (



Fees for each weekend:

  • £580 Full board, shared rooms
  • £620 Full board, single occupancy (only three available)
  • £500 Full board, camping / campervans

A non-refundable deposit of £390 secures your place for all three modules of this course; the remaining balance for each part is payable two weeks before each weekend. Deadlines for payment of balances are: Module 1: 15th April, Module 2: 24th June, Module 3: 26th August.

There are a limited number of spaces on the course offered at a reduced rate to make it more accessible for students. If you would like us to consider you for one of these spaces, please provide further information in the relevant section of the application form.

Application process: Places are limited to keep the group small (max of ten participants). If you are interested in attending you will be asked to complete an application form, and to have a discussion with Maddy or Rose to ensure that the course meets your needs. Working in the field of trauma means stepping slowly and mindfully, whilst entering a group process, so our application process intends to honour this.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1st March 2019. Please email your completed application to both Maddy and Rose:,

or send it to: FAO Maddy and Rose to:

Over the Rainbow

Plas Tyllwyd,



SA43 2JD

They will contact you by email to arrange a Skype call or phone call to discuss your application further. When you have been offered a place further booking information will be provided.

Teachers: Together Maddy and Rose draw on their extensive backgrounds in mental health and creative arts therapies to hold the group safely in exploring the potentially challenging and sensitive subject of trauma.

Maddy Smith Having felt the profound benefits of yoga in her own recovery from post-traumatic stress Maddy is passionate about yoga’s healing potential and making it accessible for others. She has twenty years of experience working in various frontline mental health services and is a qualified Art Psychotherapist. Maddy completed the Inner Yoga Trust training in 2009 and has more recently participated in a number of training’s specific to using yoga as an intervention to support trauma survivors. She currently teaches yoga in a mental health context.

Rose Thorn has been practicing yoga for over twenty five years and has been teaching weekly classes since she qualified with the IYT in 2010. She has been practicing as a Dramatherapist for over fifteen years, specialising in working with women who have been traumatised by domestic violence and sexual abuse. This led her to train as an EMDR therapist. She is a playback theatre performer and brings an intuitive and playful approach to her yoga teaching.

Jenny Beeken co-founder of the Inner Yoga Trust joins us during Module 2. Jenny has studied extensively since her original training with BKS Iyengar in the early 1970’s. Her inspiration comes from her own intensive practice and work with Diane Long and Sophy Hoare. She is the author of more than six yoga books including ‘Ancient Wisdom’, ‘Don’t Hold your Breath’ and ‘Your Yoga Birth Guide’.

%d bloggers like this: