Whether you’re already a yoga teacher or are wanting to get into the industry, being a trauma informed yoga teacher is a highly rewarding and lucrative career.

That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate step-by-step guide to how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor, covering:

Before you even think of pursuing this role, you will first need to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching. With this qualification, you will be able to plan and lead a variety of different yoga classes with confidence. 

To learn more about this specific qualification be sure to download our FREE course prospectus!

Step 1 – Securing the Right Trauma Informed Yoga Training

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If you want to become a qualified trauma informed yoga teacher, you may start by looking for a course that offers trauma informed yoga training in the UK.

But in fact, the first step to become a yoga instructor is to take an accredited qualification, such as OriGym’s Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga.

A Level 3 qualification is the bare minimum required to operate as any kind of yoga teacher in the UK in any capacity. 

Taking approximately 10 weeks to complete, the course combines online lectures, videos, and eBooks with practical workshops.

This provides you with both the theoretical and practical knowledge that you need to plan and deliver an effective yoga class.

Once completed, you’ll know how to teach sessions which take special populations into consideration. 

This includes children, those with disabilities and the elderly- all of whom are vulnerable groups who may have been affected by trauma.

When applying for a role as a yoga instructor, most employers require applicants to have completed a 200-hour yoga application, as shown in the Virgin Active job advert below:

trauma informed yoga training

If you take your Level 3 course with OriGym, you will be more than eligible for this role. This is because our course includes 400 hours of learning, which is double the usual expected standard of 200 hours that most training courses offer.

Do You Need a Specific Trauma-Informed Yoga Certification?

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If you’re wondering how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor, you may be wondering whether you need a specific trauma informed qualification. 

The short answer is, yes you do!

Once you’ve completed your Level 3 qualification, you must then complete a specific trauma-informed yoga teacher training course.

This isn’t often the case with yoga, but when working with those with trauma it’s highly recommended that you do complete a specifically-tailored qualification. 

Although trauma-informed yoga incorporates many aspects of styles of yoga such as Hatha yoga, it is specifically focused on using the practice as a way to help trauma sufferers. If you want to find out how you can become a hatha yoga teacher, check out our article!

There are also many differences between regular yoga and trauma informed yoga. 

For example, unlike many regular yoga classes, trauma informed yoga does not use physical hands-on adjustments to influence a participant’s physical form.

Instead, in trauma-informed yoga, students are encouraged to make changes to their positions themselves, in order to reflect a wider message of having control and a positive relationship with their own bodies.

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Taking a specific trauma-informed yoga teacher training will therefore make sure that you are aware of these kinds of differences and train you appropriately. 

You should also complete a separate trauma-informed yoga certification, because trauma informed yoga jobs are often based in charities or healthcare, where you’ll be dealing with vulnerable people.

Your clients are likely to have trauma-related mental health issues, such as PTSD or depression, which require specialist medical treatment and monitoring.

You’ll therefore need specific knowledge and skills to help them in a way that is relevant to their treatment, as well as with compassion and empathy.

For example, as a trauma-informed yoga instructor, you will be expected to be:

  • Able to understand language which may be triggering for those suffering with trauma
  • Informed about flashbacks, triggers, and dissociative states
  • Able to create a safe space for students to step out of any practice if they feel triggered or overwhelmed

This is on top of the usual skills required to be a good yoga teacher

This is why many trauma informed yoga teacher jobs ask applicants to have a trauma-informed qualification alongside a teacher training certificate.

For example, the job advert below for a yoga instructor working with refugee young women with significant trauma states that applications must have at least a 200 hour standard yoga teacher qualification, plus a specific trauma-focused qualification. 

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To enrol on a trauma-informed yoga teacher training course, you must already have a Level 3 yoga certification. 

For example, this is the case for this trauma-informed yoga certification from TCTSY:

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Trauma-informed yoga courses such as this one will give you a thorough understanding of complex and developmental trauma, as well as PTSD throughout the life cycle.

You’ll also gain the skills necessary to facilitate trauma-informed yoga sessions with individuals and small groups, as a treatment for trauma in your community of choice.

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Step 2 – Getting the Right Insurance for a Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher

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When developing your career, you may choose to:

However, whatever teacher you become, it’s crucial you have the right yoga teacher insurance

This will cover you financially in the case of things such as illness, injury and equipment damage. 

However, this is especially important when learning how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor.

This is because you’ll be working with those who are vulnerable, so there may be additional things that you will need to be covered for. 

For instance, those with PTSD may suffer with symptoms such as flashbacks, chronic pain, and even autoimmune diseases. These things can then put them at a higher risk of illness or injury during a yoga class.

If you are wondering how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor, there are four types of insurance that you need:

  • Public Liability InsuranceThis covers you against any injury that your students may sustain during a session, as well as any third-party damage caused to a client’s property.
  • Personal Accident InsuranceIf you’re accidentally injured during a session, this covers you if you’re unable to teach for a period of time.
  • Loss of Earnings InsuranceLoss of Earnings, or Income Protection Insurance, provides cover if illness is preventing you from earning a regular income.
  • Equipment InsuranceIf any of the equipment that you use during your trauma informed yoga sessions is damaged, lost, or stolen, equipment insurance will cover you for this.

As you’re likely to be working with the young and vulnerable, some policies also recommend that you should get a DBS background check, such as this policy from Yoga Alliance Professionals:

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This is where the Disclosure and Barring Service runs a check on your criminal records, to decide whether it is suitable for you to work with children or vulnerable adults.

If the check is successful, you’ll then obtain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate, which approves you for working with vulnerable people suffering with the effects of trauma.

To apply for a DBS check, you’re required to go through an institution or umbrella agency such as DBS Services.

An example of an insurance policy that covers a wide range of niche yoga styles is this one from Holistic Insurance Services.

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Their UK practitioner policy covers all of the insurance policies that are essential for a trauma informed yoga instructor, at no additional cost! 

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Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more that we think you’ll love:

Step 3 – Finding Your Role as a Trauma Informed Teacher

Now that you are qualified and are insured, you are now in a position to start looking for your first role as a trauma informed yoga teacher. 

One of the best ways of finding any yoga teaching job is online. 

However, since trauma-informed yoga is a very niche type of yoga, you may not find them easily. 

You may be able to find job adverts online specifically for a trauma informed yoga instructor, such as this one from non-profit organisation RefuSHE: 

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However, this is a rare opportunity, and it’s unlikely that employers will be looking for a specific instructor to run trauma informed classes.

This is because trauma-informed yoga is usually offered as a form of alternative therapy or rehabilitation for those who’ve been through traumatic events, rather than a recreational class at a gym or studio.

Instead, most commercial gyms or health clubs will be looking for more holistic yoga teachers who are able to teach a range of yoga styles, such as in this job role below:

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In a role such as this, once you’ve taught a few general classes and established your reputation as a great instructor, your employer is then likely to allow you to run a class on trauma yoga.

Although you may want to go straight into being a trauma informed yoga teacher, there are actually benefits to working in a more holistic role after you qualify, such as:

  • You will gain experience that will help you become a better yoga teacher in general
  • It gives you a steady initial income while you work on becoming a trauma informed yoga teacher
  • You can network and make connections in the industry

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As well as gyms and yoga studios, another option for finding employment as a trauma yoga teacher is with charities or non-profit organisations.

Your duties in this role could include:

  • Working one-to-one with those suffering from trauma, designing and delivering interventions that are tailored to the bespoke needs of each client
  • Forming relationships, gaining the trust, and helping to restore the confidence of those with trauma-related illnesses and conditions
  • Working with people in different mental and physical health and wellbeing services to facilitate client care, including therapists, health workers, and education professionals
  • Observing behavioural and emotional responses of clients to yoga sessions and making referrals to other medical and mental health professionals if required
  • Attending meetings with other professionals to help assess patient progress

A great example of the type of role you’d find as a trauma informed yoga instructor working in a non-profit organisation is the one pictured below:

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As you can see, this role is much more diverse than simply instructing yoga classes. It takes a more holistic approach to supporting the health and wellbeing of clients, and yoga is a part of this. 

For example, below is an example of someone who has this kind of role: 

trauma informed yoga teacher

As you can see, although her primary role is as a psychotherapist in an NHS specialist trauma centre, she also runs trauma informed yoga classes as a method of treatment and rehabilitation for clients that attend.

Another great example is the classes offered by TCTSY, which is a programme created by the Centre for Trauma and Embodiment at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI).

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So, if you were to find a role in an organisation similar to JRI, you’re likely to be involved in running classes, demonstrations and workshops as part of their programme.

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Step 4 – Career Progression Options for a Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher

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Once you’ve completed your trauma informed yoga training and have found a role as an instructor, you may be wondering how you can progress in your career.

In this section, we’ll explore some different career progressions that you may want to consider to develop your experience and increase your earning potential.

#1 – Diversify Your Trauma Informed Yoga Training Knowledge with a Level 4 Yoga Diploma

After learning how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor, a great way to progress your career is to expand your knowledge, skills and experience. 

The best way to do this is by taking a Level 4 yoga teacher training course such as OriGym’s. 

This builds on what you learnt in your Level 3 qualification, as well as allowing you to specialise in an 

This can open up a huge number of opportunities, such as being considered for more yoga job roles.

Allowing you to become an elite specialist yoga practitioner, OriGym’s Level 4 Yoga Diploma allows you to specialise in one of four different types of yoga:

  • Hatha
  • Hot
  • Iyengar
  • Ashtanga

As we mentioned earlier, trauma informed yoga involves many of the same aspects of Hatha yoga. So if you choose to specialise in Hatha with your Level 4 qualification, this will help with your trauma informed yoga teaching!

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A Level 4 yoga teacher training course will also teach you how to adapt a class to be inclusive of a mixed ability of students. 

You’ll also learn how yoga can be harnessed for physical rehabilitation, as well as the legalities of teaching yoga as a profession.

These skills can therefore then be applied to trauma informed yoga, helping you be a better teacher. 

This means that you’ll have more to offer your clients, and will be a much more well-rounded, knowledgeable yoga instructor.

As a result, you’ll gain an even better reputation as a trauma informed yoga instructor, which looks great on your yoga teacher CV and increases your employability prospects to help you become a successful yoga teacher.

This also means that you’re likely to gain even more clients from recommendations, and will therefore be able to enhance your earning potential!

#2 – Open Your Own Specialised Practice as a Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher

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If you’re looking to make a rewarding career progression after gaining your trauma-informed yoga certification, why not open up your own studio or practice?

There are several benefits to running your own business as a yoga teacher, including:

  • Being able to work the hours that suit your schedule as your own boss
  • Having creative freedom when it comes to branding and marketing
  • Having unlimited earning potential
  • Being able to control the amount of involvement you have in the business. For instance, you could hire a manager and concentrate on leading classes, or hire highly qualified instructors and spend more time on the running of the business.

We have a whole guide here to starting your own yoga studio, most of which applies to opening your own trauma informed yoga practice. 

But here are some things you should consider when opening up your own practice:

Find a Space to Hold Your Trauma Informed Yoga Training Classes In

The first thing that you’ll need to do is find an appropriate space to purchase or rent, to use as the base for your trauma informed yoga classes.

We’d recommend using websites such as UK Therapy Rooms, where you can find the best yoga studios to rent within your local area, as well as advice on what to look for.

Here’s an example of one of the spaces that you’re likely to find on this website:

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It is also important to consider the roles and responsibilities that you’ll have to take on as a yoga studio manager.

This is because you’ll have many more roles than simply leading classes, including providing effective management and leadership for your employees.

They’ll look to you to deal with complaints, operational issues, and for delegation. It is therefore important that you are a strong leader who is able to make difficult decisions quickly and effectively.

For example, you’ll be required to manage the studio’s finances, including:

  • Managing employee payroll
  • Managing budgets for marketing and equipment
  • Tracking client payments
  • Keeping financial records

You’ll also be expected to complete other administrative duties, such as:

  • Business reports
  • Managing operational issues
  • Overseeing class timetables or studio schedules

Another crucial responsibility for a yoga studio manager is to ensure that you, your employees, and the studio are all complying with health and safety regulations.

This is especially important as a trauma informed yoga instructor, as you’ll be working with vulnerable clients. 

For instance, you need to ensure that you or at least one employee on-site is first aid trained, and you should also be aware of fire safety regulations. 

Remember That You’ll be Responsible for Marketing Your Trauma Informed Yoga Training Studio

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As a studio owner, you will also be fully responsible for branding and marketing your studio. 

We have a whole article here on marketing a yoga business. But in general, some things you should consider are:

  • Choose a business name and logo. This is important, as it is often the first impression that people will have of your business.  

An example of an appropriately-named trauma informed yoga business is Thrive with Embodied Wisdom.

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This is because the word ‘thrive’ suggests that clients aren’t defined by their trauma, and that they can learn to lead a fulfilling life beyond simply just surviving.

  • Choose a suitable colour scheme. For a trauma informed yoga business, you should consider calming colours such as blues and greens that are associated with peace and good health. 
  • Use social media. This is one of the best ways to increase your brand awareness and to get potential clients to engage with your business. To get you started, we have a whole article here on how to use Instagram yoga marketing (Link when live)
  • Create a website. This will give your target audience somewhere to find out about your business and enquire about your services. It can also be used as a booking platform for clients to directly pay for and book on to your classes. 
  • Use email marketing. Through your website and social media, you direct people to subscribe to your mailing list. This is a great way to keep them updated on the latest news, events, and class timetables. 

This will ensure that clients are consistently reminded of your services, and is a great way of building up customer loyalty to your brand.

  • Network in the yoga industry. This is an important way to help get your name and business known. You could do this through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, by attending yoga events in the local community, or even consider running a networking event yourself.
  • Printed marketing materials. For example, you could create posters and yoga business cards. You can place these in spaces where your target audience is likely to see them, such as in medical centres, hospitals, and local community centres.
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#3- Become a Yoga Therapist to Progress Your Career as a Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher

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A great career progression option after being a trauma informed yoga teacher is to become a yoga therapist. 

This allows you to combine the mindfulness skills that you already have from your trauma-informed yoga teacher training, with clinical skills and a deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience.

This will allow you to not only lead trauma-informed yoga classes, but also to help treat long-term mental and physical health conditions in medical and healthcare settings.

Alongside PTSD and complex trauma, you’ll also be qualified to treat a range of other lifestyle and stress-related conditions or diseases through yoga, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Eating disorders
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Anxiety and depression

To enrol on a yoga therapy course, you’ll need to have completed at least a 200-hour accredited yoga teaching course, such as our Level 3 Diploma.

You’re also required to have at least 2 years’ experience of teaching yoga.

You’ll then need to take a yoga therapy course that has been approved by the British Council for Yoga Therapy (BCYT), to ensure that it upholds industry standards.

An example of such a course is The Minded Institute’s 580-Hour Professional Diploma, which is the only training organisation in the world to be accredited by both the BCYT and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).

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This course gives students a deep understanding of the brain and the major physiological systems of the body. 

It examines the evidence linking the brain, behaviour, physiology, and pathology, all within the context of the Kosha model.

In each module, you’ll study one specific mental health and one physical health condition, as well as the relevant therapeutic yogic and mindfulness techniques used to treat them.

You’ll also be taught clinical skills relevant to health professionals, along with examining breathing practices and their energetic, physiological, and psychological effects.

You will then be qualified to work in a wide variety of settings, from social enterprises and schools, to NHS clinics and even prisons.

Before You Go!

Now that you know exactly how to become a trauma informed yoga instructor, you can begin taking the necessary steps to pursue this career. 

First and foremost, you need to take time to get qualified through the completion of a Level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching. Our entry-level course will ensure you’re equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge required to find success in the industry. 

To learn more about the various yoga qualifications OriGym has to offer, be sure to download our FREE course prospectus here

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About the Author: Rebecca Felton

rebecca felton origym authour
Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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