‹ All videos

Trauma-conscious yoga practice with Laura Toyofuku-Aki (65 minutes)

In this 65 minute practice, Laura guides you through a progression of movements. You’ll warm up through the movements, be challenged in certain stretches but all the while you are encouraged to move at your own pace, skip poses that don’t speak to you and have compassion for your body. Laura provides cues that describe each pose, so you don’t need prior yoga experience or knowledge of terminology.

 


Here’s a special note from Laura about how you can apply a trauma conscious approach to your yoga practice.

Thank you for sharing my practice! I wanted to share a few ways that you could incorporate trauma-consciousness into your class. I recommend starting, with one or two tips and go from there. Make sure it feels authentic to you, take what you love and leave what you don’t.

 

Tips to make your class more trauma-conscious:

  • Set up the mats in a circular format and do the practice, it practices equality and removes hierarchy.
  • Inform the students of how the class will be organized and the timeframe, it allows the student to know where you’re going and to choose to go with you.
  • Sincere invitational language, it gives your student agency and autonomy over their movement and practice.
    • It can look like: “I am…,” “maybe you can try…,” ‘I invite you to…”
  • Articulate what you’re feeling, it allows students to know that their feeling is okay.
  • Never offer hands-on assists, use words and allow your students to find the pose in their body.
  • During the practice listen, create a space for your students to share without your reaction or influence, just listen.
  • Always keep your eyes open, it allows you to maintain a safe space.
  • Stick to the time you offered, it allows your students to trust what you say.
  • Let it go – offer your practice and allow your students to make it their own.
  • Be authentic to yourself, your students will know when you’re faking it!
  • Poses you may choose not to use to be sensitive to student’s trauma. (Use your own discretion)
    • Downward facing dog
    • All fours
    • Child’s pose
    • Happy baby
    • Baddha Konasana
    • Hanuman
    • Standing split
    • Etc.
  • Offer meditation! But pay attention to where your students go. If you open up a space, make sure you can close it.

 

Again, thank you for sharing my practice. I am humbled and grateful to the Setu Community and all the beautiful yogis out there, do your thing and spread it with love!

 

In you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

 

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Laura Toyofuku-Aki

 

Laura Toyofuku-Aki

Laura Toyofuku-Aki

New York City, NY, United States

Aloha! My classes are casual and personal. We always start with reflection and creating space and then we move, together. Class can vary from fast vinyasa to props and focused, it really is up to the student. I completed my 200hr at Laughing Lotus Brooklyn and certification in trauma conscious yoga from Liberation Prison Yoga. I also teach a weekly classes at the transgender unit in the NYC jail.

View profile ›
Support Setu on Patreon