1st Edition

Building Safety with Trauma-Informed Yoga A Practical Guide for Teachers and Clinicians

By Yael Calhoun Copyright 2024
    274 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Building Safety with Trauma-Informed Yoga is an accessible, science-based guide for clinicians, yoga teachers, teachers in training, and practitioners. The book provides clear ideas on how to support diverse groups in trauma recovery and in building resiliency skills. The easy-to-follow format is organized around the three key principles of building safety, supporting empowerment, and maintaining simplicity. Readers will find free downloadable support materials on the author's website, including handouts, flyers, scripts, and audio and video recordings.

    Introduction  1. Science: Be Informed and Be Inspired  Part One: Preparing to Teach  2. Language  3. The Yoga Space  4. Classroom Management  5. For Teachers, Clinicians, and Health Care Providers  Part Two: Teaching Protocols  6. The Breath: Considerations  7. Suggested Breathwork  8. The Practice: Considerations  9. Steps to Creating Your Practice  10. Immigrant/Refugee/ESOL Populations  11. Trauma-informed Phrases and Practice Sequences/Photos  Appendix A: Practice Scripts for Chapter 5  Appendix B: Supplemental Resources


    Yael Calhoun, MS, MA, E-RTY, is the author or series editor of more than 20 books and manuals, including Trauma-informed Yoga for Pain Management: A Practical Manual for Simple Stretching, Gentle Strengthening, and Mindful Breathing. Yael is the executive director of GreenTREE Yoga®, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the benefits of yoga to underserved populations and to those who work with them (www.greentreeyoga.org).

    "This book is a gift. It is a beautiful scientific and empathetic guide to helping healers heal some of the most vulnerable human beings in our communities."

    Mara L. Rabin, MD, medical director, Utah Health and Human Rights 

    "Yael Calhoun has concisely and uniquely blended the essential concepts of neuroscience with mindfulness and yoga-based practices to both educate and empower the individual toward robust healing. She is brilliant in descriptions and effective in guidance toward resolution and resilience. What a gift her work is to any and all in recovery—and we are all in recovery from one thing or another!"

    Susie Wiet, MD, founder and medical director of Sovegna, founder of Trauma Resiliency Collaborative, and board member of the Academy on Violence and Abuse

    "Building Safety with Trauma-Informed Yoga is full of valuable gems not only for those teaching yoga but for all therapists working with traumatized populations. Yael Calhoun offers practical tools delivered with compassion and wisdom. Her book is a gift to the field and the result of her years of exquisite work!"

    Lori S. Katz, PhD, author of Holographic Reprocessing for Healing Trauma, Abuse and Maltreatment

    "Building Safety with Trauma-Informed Yoga is an insightful, inspiring and practical guide for anyone who works with people who have experienced trauma. Grounded in the science of traumatic stress, the reader is given the context, the language, and direction necessary to provide a safe yoga space and experience for even the most traumatized of individuals. The book does not proselytize yoga or trauma-informed care, rather it grounds the reader in the science of how trauma impacts both the mind and the body and then clearly articulates how trauma-informed yoga can impact the mind through movement and breath to enhance resilience. After reading this book you won't just know the right things to say to make someone feel safe, but much more importantly, you will have a better sense of what to do to allow them to feel safe. This is really a must-read book for yoga professionals who want to be trauma-informed as well as non-yoga trauma professionals who want to expand and develop their interdisciplinary capacity to work collaboratively with yoga professionals." 

    Brooks Keeshin, MD, child abuse pediatrician and child psychiatrist

    "What makes this trauma-informed yoga guidebook so remarkable is that it is grounded in science and written by a teacher who draws on decades of experience teaching yoga to people who have experienced trauma. Calhoun's insights, scope, and practice can be incorporated into trauma-informed healthcare and educational institutions as part of an evidence-based additional healing modality." 

    Tasneem Ismailji MD, MPH, co-founder and board member of the Academy on Violence and Abuse

    "Yael Calhoun offers a scrupulous and comprehensive overview of trauma and the application of yoga practices for addressing its associated symptoms in this book. It is superbly written and richly referenced with quotes from many trauma therapists, clinicians, and researchers. I consider it a very valuable resource for teachers providing therapeutic yoga practices including those for trauma."

    James Fox, founding director of the Prison Yoga Project

    "As yoga teachers, we do not know all our students' personal stories. But it's highly likely that one or more of our students has experienced some sort of trauma. Our words, tone of voice and practice methods all matter. Yael Calhoun's compassion and extensive experience in working with trauma shine through in this book. With its thorough and easily digested theory and practice suggestions, this book will help all yoga teachers create a safe, empowering environment for their students."

    Charlotte Bell, author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner's Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain

    "An excellent resource for any yoga teacher keen to learn effective ways to guide trauma-informed recovery and resiliency-building skills."

    Rob Schware, PhD, executive director of Give Back Yoga Foundation

    "Yael Calhoun's masterful understanding and passion for working with those who have experienced trauma are put forward in an easy and digestible way for anyone interested in working with this population. This is a must-read for anyone in the field of trauma-informed care."

    Brandon Yabko, PhD, licensed psychologist, SLC Psych, LLC

    "This science-based and comprehensive book is offered with compassion and deep knowledge from the life work of Yael Calhoun, a leader in the field of trauma-informed yoga." 

    Denise Druce, C-IAYT, school director, Yoga Assets

    "Yael Calhoun's new book is a much-needed resource that weaves together the latest science, traditional practices, and the knowledge of an experienced teacher and yoga expert who understands trauma. Her practical tips such as 'show, don't tell' provide invaluable guidance and the skill-based chapters, including 'Suggested Breath Work' provide simple tools that can be used in a wide range of settings."

    Linda Chamberlain, PhD, MPH

    "Yael Calhoun's book is a useful resource for clinicians who wish to add yoga to their healing and stress reduction toolkit. The book helps bring the ancient practice of yoga to help us today with our increasing awareness of the toxicity of life traumas and the need for many ways to address them. Thank you, Yael!" 

    David L. Corwin, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of forensic services at the University of Utah