Guidelines for Teaching Nervous System–Informed, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (NITYA) to Survivors of Psychological Trauma

My approach to trauma treatment through yogic interventions, Nervous System-Informed, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, which I presented in Issue # 12 of TARKA, rests on specific guidelines for working in individual and group sessions.

These guidelines below, most appropriate for a group class, are organized around reducing the symptoms of trauma by regulating the functioning of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the sympathetic branch (SNS), and the parasympathetic branch (PNS), as well as information from polyvagal theory, which will be discussed in another article. This regulation can be most easily accomplished when the individual feels physically and emotionally safe. (Levine, 2010).

Some dimensions of safety which yoga can provide include grounding, boundary-making, and internal core support. When a client can feel their internal body sensations, such as the stretching of muscles in the back of the legs in the full forward bend; and their conn

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