Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Kanuka Yoga Space

Updated: Apr 12

We're beyond excited to be partnering up with lululemon as we continue to bring more breath, and mindful movement to our local communities and beyond.

Here to Be is lululemon's social impact program that disrupts inequity in wellbeing through movement, mindfulness, and advocacy. The Here to Be grant will be used to provide trauma-sensitive yoga courses for women in Auckland, and throughout the country.

What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

Here is some context in how Kanuka Yoga Space approach Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY).

We are following guidelines on the current, modern day approach to this subject and practice.

Firstly, a little about the creators of Kanuka Yoga Space:

Studio owner and teacher, Raquel Minh, has a degree in Psychology, and completed her 60HR Trauma-Informed & Community Yoga with Rise Movement in 2021.

Both Raquel and Stu (Kanuka Yoga's studio manager and teacher), both completed their 200HR Yoga Teacher training in 2019 with RAW Yoga; a modern-day yoga teacher training pillared around Trauma Informed Yoga.

It's important to note that TSY can be a complex subject, so we understand if things don't make perfect sense straight away and we're always happy to answer questions you might have about it.

Here are some ways we approach Trauma Sensitive Yoga at Kanuka Yoga:

  • Understanding the fundamental nature of Trauma and how this can affect the human experience.

  • Learning personal practices to build resilience and safety for our selves and our clients.

  • Understanding Trauma Sensitive Yoga through the nervous system, polyvagal theory and the window of tolerance.

  • Learn how Yoga tools and philosophy can support trauma.

  • Understand teaching from a Trauma Sensitive perspective with a focus on safety, language, dosage, atmosphere, interoception, connection and empowerment.

  • Learn short practices, including movement, breathing techniques and meditation/mindfulness techniques from a trauma sensitive perspective for working with students/clients.

If we could create a short summary, the intention is to create a safe environment for students and clients to find their breath, movements and personal practices to help regulate their own nervous system. We are here as guides, to provide you with choices and to encourage you to feel empowered to make your own choices.

How Will Kanuka Yoga Use The Grant?

Kanuka Yoga Space will create and deliver multiple eight-week Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) programmes throughout 2022 (including in-studio and online). Priority will be given to clients/participants who already receive counselling support from an existing organisation.

Each program will run for eight consecutive weeks with two facilitators. Each group will have one lead facilitator and one co-facilitator; both facilitators will be trained trauma-informed yoga teachers.

Thus, the lululemon Here to Be grant funding will be used to cover enrolment fees for all clients/participants joining the 8-week program.

Who benefits from practicing Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

Trauma Sensitive Yoga is established as an adjunct treatment for PTSD and is already approved under ACC Sensitive Claims. However, because of the limited number of ACC-covered therapists and limited amount of trauma sensitive classes held within Auckland, it can be difficult to gain access to this type of yoga.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga empowers the participants to develop and improve:

  • Self-regulation skills by noticing bodily sensations signalling emotions

  • Increased mindfulness skills and ability to stay in the present moment

  • Awareness of their body (both internally and moving in space)

  • Relationship and connection to their body

  • Breath awareness to support working with states of hyperarousal, stress and anxiety

  • Relaxation and self-soothing skills

  • Increased sense of mastery and control by provision of choices

How can I partner with Kanuka Yoga Space?

We are looking for referral partners who can recommend Kanuka Yoga Space to their clients. Based on interest from the partner organisation, we will determine best course start date and any special considerations in hosting participants.

Going a step further, we have a real opportunity right now to increase our potential to influence positive change for a wider network and to do this we are open to collaborating and partnering with more people and organisations that have aligned values. For example, with additional support we could increase the number of courses we run and ensure more people are receiving suitable support when they otherwise wouldn't have access to it.

Even if you don't have monetary resources to support this initiative, we are excited to simply share our offering to potential clients/participants within your network.

Depending on our additional partners and collaborators, the current options for these courses are either:

  • Fully subsidised course enrolment fees

  • Partially-subsidised course enrolment fees

  • Or, a mixture of the two

For more information on the benefits of trauma-sensitive yoga, please check out The Trauma Center for Trauma Sensitive Yoga.


Kanuka Yoga Space