Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Yoga as a practice is more than 5,000 years old, developed in the region of modern day India. Yoga is an organized system of breathing and moving. Yoga is characterized by physical postures which are held for a brief period of time. Today, yoga is most often done on a mat on the floor but may also be practiced in a chair sitting up. The goal of Trauma Sensitive Yoga is to befriend, reconnect with and feel empowered in your body. In a safe and predictable environment, you are invited to notice sensations, experiment with movement and breathing, and practice making choices about what is right for you.

What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

  • We practice yoga as a way of becoming more friendly with our body.
  • We offer a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment.
  • Our presentation of yoga is not religious.
  • We cultivate strength and flexibility but also encourage students to take care of themselves and not force through pain and strain.
  • We emphasize self-awareness and self-regulation by using yoga techniques such as deep, mindful breathing, a strong physical core and an upright, well-supported spine.

This session is for individuals whom identify as female ages 13 and up.

There are no current classes at this time.


  • Please arrive about 10 minutes early to get yourself organized.
  • Wear clothing appropriate for physical activity (sweatpants, t-shirt or whatever is comfortable).
  • Please bring a yoga mat. Blankets and items used in other yoga classes are welcome.

Facilitator: Kathe Irvine, L.I.S.W., is a therapist at the Center and a certified yoga instructor. She has an additional certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga. For more information, contact Kathe at or 515-274-4006 ext. 167., or visit

More information about Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY):

Evidence-Based Practice: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, adjunctive clinical treatment for complex trauma or chronic treatment-resistant PTSD.  This technique was developed by David Emerson at the Trauma Center.  TSY has foundations in both Trauma Theory and Hatha Yoga with an emphasis on body-based yoga forms and breathing practices.

Sensitive Techniques: TSY participants are invited to notice and feel sensations within their body throughout the practice.  Participants are then encouraged to make choices about what they do and how they move with their body based on what they sense.  This supports participants to investigate what choice feels supportive for them, taking cues from their own individual experience.  There are no physical assists provided.

Inquiry-Based Exploration: The approach applies choice and body-centered self-awareness to support a recovery process, a gentle intervention that initiates healing through people regaining a relationship with the present moment and their body.  The language used throughout a yoga session is invitational and encourages curiosity to explore what one might feel in different parts of their body based on the form they are choosing to take.


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