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The Neurobiology of Trauma & Trauma Informed Yoga Practices

  • Jamyang Buddhist Centre 43 Renfrew Road London, England, SE11 4NA United Kingdom (map)

This workshop is now SOLD OUT.
Please continue to make bookings to be added to a waiting list.

You are also very welcome to book onto November’s The Neurobiology of Trauma & Trauma Informed Yoga Practices

Please Note: 20% (£110 saving) discount when booking both this workshop & a Trauma Centre, Trauma Sensitive Yoga 20Hr Foundation Workshop 

The body, yoga, mindfulness and neuroscience are themes that dominate contemporary conversations on trauma. These conversations often presume a prior level of expertise or else are so simplified that clinically significant distinctions are lost.

This 5 day workshop is intended to bridge the gap for those without a background in neuroscience or yoga but who wish to understand the current theories on what happens to our brains when we are threatened and how various yoga practices might either help or harm.

The workshop is suitable for:

  • those offering therapeutic interventions for trauma survivors

  • yoga teachers wishing to create a more trauma informed practice

  • those with little or no prior training in neurobiology

  • those without a yoga/somatic practice

The Yoga Clinic (UK) does not consider those living with the effects of a trauma history, pathologically 'disordered'.

Please note: This program is solely for professional development and is not intended as an intervention for those who have experienced trauma. Talking about trauma, even in the context of a professional training, may be triggering.

Curriculum Overview:
Introduction to Neuroscience & Neurobiology:
The neurological processes by which we come to know and respond to our internal and external world

Interpersonal Safety & Interpersonal Neurobiology:
The neurological processes through which safety is created and experienced

The Effects of Safety - Thriving, Not Just Surviving:
The effects of safety on our cognitive, emotional and biological states

Interpersonal Danger & Interpersonal Neurobiology:
Varieties of danger - interpersonal and non-personal, abuse and neglect, chronic and single incident
The neurological processes through which danger is created and experienced

Surviving Danger:
Fight, Flight, Fawn, Freeze & Dissociation
The neurobiology of our survival mechanisms

The Side Effects of Surviving - Not Thriving:
Neurobiological theories for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma, Dissociative Identity Disorders and Personality Disorders

Trauma Sequelae:
Neurobiological theories for the varieties of secondary trauma symptoms, including addiction, self-injurious behaviours, somatisation, foggy thinking and attentional issues, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, autoimmune disorders

Trauma Informed Practices:
Locating distress/locating blame - "what happened to you?" Vs "what is wrong with you?"
Attending to power dynamics and enabling agency

The Spectrum of Trauma Treatments:
Cognitive approaches to trauma processing - limitations and applications
Somatic approaches to trauma processing - limitations and applications

Yoga - A Relational Practice for a Relational Brain:
The 8 Limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga) as a psychological practice
Contemporary yoga and secular mindfulness

Yoga and Re-Traumatisation:
Yamas, Niyamas & moral judgement
Asana, Pranayama and physical assists
Meditation and dissociation
Ahimsa/The Hippocratic Oath, Scope of Practice

Yoga for Trauma Survivors:
Trauma Sensitive Yoga - somatic dissociation and embodiment
Trauma Informed Yoga - mindfulness, affect regulation, empowerment
Self-practice and group practices
General yoga classes for trauma survivors

Theoretical Frameworks:
Polyvagal Theory
Attachment Theory
Interpersonal Neurobiology
Classical and Operant Conditioning
Cognitive Neuroscience
The Yoga Sutras

This workshop will be delivered using a number of teaching mediums:

  • Seminar style with accompanying slides and handouts

  • Case histories & lived experience

  • Teaching examples

  • Clinical examples

  • Small and large group brainstorming/discussion

  • Experiential Education

  • Teaching Practice

  • Q & A sessions

  • Expert by Experience/Training, Panel Discussion (as part of an ongoing conversation that is The Critical Yoga Project).

Expert by Experience/Training, Panel Discussion

Friday afternoon - an opportunity for students and the panel to share insights and experiences.

One Place East is a user led organisation offering a range of services to those seeking support with their mental health needs.

Services offered by One Place East include:

Run Up: A mental health user group whose principal aim to ensure mental health service users are involved in the provision of services.

Next Steps Project: focused on developing and promoting the skills, confidence and capacity of people with lived experience of mental health problems.

Peer Dialogue Support Group: a trauma informed support group for those in mental health crisis. Peer Dialogue Facilitators are those with a lived experience of surviving crisis and rebuilding their lives.

We will be joined by 3 representatives from One Place East - Charmaine Harris (Project Coordinator), Maria Diminieux and Farzana Miah (Peer Dialogue Facilitators).

In addition we will be joined by Becky Fédia and Dr Amy Jebreel.

Becky Fédia manages women's centres and community outreach projects at Women in Prison - a service for women affected by the criminal justice system. Becky has experience in providing gender-specialist, trauma responsive advocacy and support to young women affected by child sexual exploitation, in particular in groups and gangs, and adult women with experiences of complex trauma. She is a graduate of The Trauma Centre’s Trauma Sensitive Yoga Program.

Dr Amy Jebreel is a dual-trained consultant psychiatrist in Old Age and Adult Psychiatry; she is the Consultant Psychiatrist in Haringey’s Community Mental Health Team, which specialises in PTSD.
Amy is a clinical lead for a participating team in the national ODDESSI Open Dialogue trial and a keen proponent of trauma-informed care and integrative psychiatry. She has a personal meditative practice and is a regular attendee of Gaia House.

Possible topics:

  • the experience of mental health service users/service providers, particularly within the NHS

  • the experience of those with varieties of trauma backgrounds

  • the experience of those that are from non-white communities/racism as relational trauma

  • the experience of those that are from non-heterosexual communities/homophobia as relational trauma

  • trauma informed approaches to chronic and enduring poor mental health including the Open Dialogue approach to psychosis

  • the role of somatic approaches to mental health & their place in trauma informed care

This panel will be part of an ongoing conversation that is The Critical Yoga Project

Accreditation  & Professional Development:

Alexandra Cat holds degrees in Experimental Psychology, (Oxford University) and Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Sussex University).
She is a member of the teaching faculty for The Trauma Centre's (Boston, USA) program in Trauma Sensitive Yoga and is a regular guest lecturer on a variety of NHS Medical Education Programs.

Alex has worked as a yoga teacher since 2001. She offers trauma informed yoga practices for trauma survivors - The Yoga Clinic (UK).

Please see here for Alex's full resume.


Please click through to read about Jamyang Buddhist Centre.

Jamyang offers accommodation as well as incorporating a beautiful cafe. All food is freshly prepared, seasonal & locally sourced from Sutton Community Farm.

Note: Jamyang is home to a Buddhist cat, is a smoke free space and is fully wheelchair accessible.


Each day will run from 10:00 - 16:30

Students will be booking for the whole 5 days.

There are 4 booking options.

  • UK Bursary Bookings - £250

  • UK Bookings - £550

  • UK Bookings when also booking a 20Hr TCTSY - £440

  • International Bookings - £560*

*International students are asked to pay an extra £10 to cover a currency processing fee.

Bursary Places:

Four bursary places of £250 per person are available. These bookings must be paid for via a sterling (£) account.

These places are offered on a quota system - 3 places are reserved for people that identify as BME.
These places are for people who fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • residing in the UK

  • would not otherwise be able to afford to attend the workshop

  • self-identify as a member of the LGBTQI and/or BME communities

  • have a lived experience of relational trauma as a result of their LGBTQI and/or BME identities - this might include your experiences of racism &/or heterosexism, homo & transphobia.

Applications for a bursary place must be submitted by March 1st 2019.
Successful applicants will be notified of their offer by March 15th 2019, latest.
Offers will be made to eligible candidates on a first come, first served basis.

Payment Plans:

Payment plans for UK & bursary places will be available. Because each instalment will incur an international processing fee, we do not offer a payment plan for non-sterling (£) accounts

Please note: The Yoga Clinic (UK) does not consider those living with the effects of a trauma history, pathologically 'disordered'.

This program is solely for professional development and is not intended as an intervention for those who have experienced trauma. Talking about trauma, even in the context of a professional training, may be triggering.