Trauma-informed yoga encourages individuals to reconnect with the physical body and notice sensation, which is essential for wellbeing.
Trauma informed yoga teachers bring an awareness of the impact of psychological trauma on a person.
This approach works with an understanding of the needs of the individual, always ensuring safety, grounding and choice-making through the use of interoceptive and invitational language.
The approach aims to empower individuals, and to engage in an activity that supports the development of safe and supportive relationships.
Our trauma informed yoga teachers have training in this area and are highly skilled and experienced in working with vulnerable groups.
We work with a variety of NHS mental health settings to offer yoga to inpatients and outpatients with a variety of mental health issues.
St John’s Hospital (Mental Health Mother and Baby Unit) | As our funding from the Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation ended in Year 6 we have been able to continue to fund this weekly class in the Mother and Baby inpatient psychiatric unit. Lorraine has been offering group classes and individual TC-TSY sessions – an evidence based trauma sensitive approach to working with individuals. The Mental Health Mother and Baby unit has six beds and six cots and admits mother and baby together where the child is under one year old. This means that women can receive appropriate care and treatment for their mental illness, while being able to maintain and develop their parenting role and relationship with their infant
Royal Edinburgh Hospital (Self Harm Service – Adults) | We run a weekly trauma informed yoga class with people who attend the self harm service at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, supported by a clinical nurse specialist and funded by the Walker Trust and most recently the Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation. As part of this project we also one to one sessions in inpatient ward areas for those who cannot attend the class.
The Hive | The Hive is a sanctuary for in-patients at the Royal Edinburgh hospital. This centre offers art, music, recreation and crafts activities. ECY Outreach teach a weekly therapeutic yoga class for the patients and the staff who work with them.
Forensic Psychiatry | We run yoga therapy classes in two secure psychiatric units, one in Edinburgh the other in Lanarkshire. Focusing on developing emotional resilience and self-compassion and offering safety and choice these classes support the rehabilitation of chronically unwell patients in extremely stressful environments.
We work with many vulnerable women who are supported by a variety of not for profit organisation’s in Edinburgh.
WomanZone by Foursqaure | Our yoga project supporting women affected by trauma and in recovery from addiction with Womenzone reached the end of its second year in August 2021. This project is funded for three years by the Volant Charitable Trust. We successfully moved our weekly yoga classes online during the pandemic thanks to dedication from the Womenzone team and the teacher at the time, Bethany Halcrow. We are continuing to consider ways to support group members further through our mentorship program, though progress on this has been limited due to lockdown restrictions. We are looking forward to running our postponed retreat in early 2022, COVID restrictions depending. With income saved from room hire we were able to offer a wellbeing care package to each woman in the Womanzone programme. These were put together by volunteer Anne Close (Lorraine’s mum) and were really appreciated by the women in the run up to Christmas, after a particularly difficult year. We returned this class face to face early in June this year.
Saheliya | In December 2019 the funding from Awards for All Scotland – The National Lottery came to an end for our project with Saheliya, supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Edinburgh. After a brief hiatus at the beginning of lockdown we were able to continue to support this class with our own funds until December 2020 when our partners Fierce Calm offered us 12 months of funding for this weekly class. As classes are currently online we have been able to extend our offering to service users in Glasgow offering a weekly trauma informed yoga class and an English class to BME, and in particular refugee and asylum seeking women.
There is increasing evidence that military veterans and acting military service people can benefit from trauma informed yoga. Military Veterans can face a multitude of physical and mental health issues as they readjust to civilian life. Our teachers working with these groups have completed training with Warriors at Ease, a leading organisation in the field of yoga for veterans.
TALO Personnel Recovery Centre Scotland and Northern Ireland |This weekly class, subsidised by ECY fundraising offers rehabilitating soldiers resident at the Personnel recovery centre in Gilmerton the chance to begin to heal psychologically, emotionally and physically in a safe and supportive environment.