Through curiosity, embodiment, and choice, a trauma-sensitive yoga practice has the power to bring about peacebuilding from within.


This anti-oppressive approach to healing supports recovery from individual and collective long-term trauma through movement, present moment experiences, and choice. TCTSY was developed by David Emerson at the The Center for Trauma and Embodiment as an empirically validated, adjunctive clinical treatment for complex trauma or PTSD.

Trauma Center-Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is a movement and breath-based practice that is informed by understandings of complex trauma, attachment theory, and neuroscience. It can be used with people of all ages, and is accessible to everyone, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, body type, or physical ability.


It starts with an invitation — befriend your body

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Participants are invited to make choices throughout the practice: these choices could be about their bodies, senses, or movements. Intentional language cues are offered to support each person investigate what choices support their own experience. This is an opportunity to meet themselves where they are at.

Nicola has a vast amount of knowledge to share and it was evident she lives from a trauma informed space. Thank you for helping create agents of change that promote this idea of choice and present moment awareness. It is a gift to share body awareness, choice and helping people access the present moment.
— TCTSY training participant
This Mindful Movement class series helped immensely in bringing my awareness back to my body, both in class and beyond. It helped to ground feelings of safety and calm, reminding me that there are choices.
— Mindful Movement TCTSY class participant


Embodiment as healing — the wisdom we carry with us

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The TCTSY approach engages participants and practitioners in a shared experience of choice-making and body-centered self-awareness to support the recovery process. Applying this technique over time, sensations noticed in the body might start to become useful resources for making choices in daily life. A trauma-sensitive yoga practice invites the participant on a journey of self-discovery — to support this, there are no physical assists provided.

Click here to view a sample practice.

Having lived with trauma my whole life and working on how to work with my trauma, I am now able to think and feel my body, as well as own the feelings within myself. I was so ready to hear all that was offered in the training. Thanks!
— TCTSY training participant
I felt absolutely safe as Nicola provided the language and postures that were very mindful of our potential past experiences. She did not offer any physical adjustments.
— Mindful Movement TCTSY class participant