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The Art of Inclusion – A Functional & Trauma-Informed Approach to Yoga – 6hr CET with Nicky Hadjithoma

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About this training

This specialised workshop introduces the fundamental tools and skillset required to cultivate an environment of inclusivity in any public yoga class.
 
We will explore how to teach individualised yoga through a functional and trauma-informed lens – honouring the importance of nurturing physical, mental and emotional safety and well-being.
 
Our goal is to ensure that all students feel welcome and safe in our class – regardless of age, sex, ethnicity or athletic ability – to experience yoga as an empowering, nourishing and healing practice.
 
This workshop will include:
 
– Introduction to a functional approach to yoga (Skeletal variation and how to unpack Paul Grilley’s 14-10-7 model)
– The basics of a trauma-informed approach (Polyvagal theory, safety, attunement, trauma-informed language and space holding considerations)
– Integration: Yin & Yin-Yang Yoga Practice
 
A Functional Approach
“In a functional approach to yoga, there is no such thing as a perfect pose. Every hand and foot position can either help or hinder our ability to stress the target area. The most effective way to do this will vary from person to person.” – Paul Grilley
 
Skeletal variation is very real, however, much of the yoga world still teaches rigid alignment based on the assumption that we are all the same, often to a detrimental effect.
 
In this workshop, we will discuss the best practices in how to honour each person’s unique physicality through the exploration of skeletal variation, bio-mechanics and functional anatomy. We will unpack Paul Grilley’s 14-10-7 model and take a deep dive through the functional yoga archetypes, offering tools to help guide students to discern for themselves what asana shape is appropriate for their body.
 
We will deconstruct outdated and rigid alignment rules, uncover the hows and whys of a functional approach to yoga and discuss why honouring physical individuality is the first step to creating a more inclusive environment for our students.
 
A Trauma-Informed Approach
 
“Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.” – Gabor Mate
 
Globally, around 70% of people have experienced some form of trauma in their lives (World Health Organisation). Acknowledging this figure, it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in trauma-informed practices within various sectors, including health, education, corporate and of course, yoga.
 
Whilst we can train ourselves, to some extent, to observe a student’s individual physical capabilities, we will never be able to see the limitations caused by emotional issues stored deep within the tissues – the wounds that can potentially become triggered and re-opened during a yoga class.
 
This workshop will introduce the basics of a trauma-informed approach to yoga, helping teachers to become consciously aware of trauma and how it can be elicited by our yoga practice. By studying a trauma-informed approach, we are learning to become mindful of how we hold and navigate the space, considering the various aspects of a class that could potentially affect the individual experience of any student.
 
There’s a fine line between yoga’s ability to heal us from trauma or trigger it. Holding the space in a mindful way is the fundamental responsibility of any yoga teacher, so we can continue the privilege of guiding students safely, along their own personal healing journey.
 
Trauma-Informed Definition:
 
The term ‘trauma-informed’ and ‘trauma-aware’ yoga can be used interchangeably – and are significantly different to ‘trauma-sensitive’ or ‘trauma-qualified’ yoga (TCTSY definition).
 
A trauma-informed/aware approach provides a trusting, non-judgmental environment that honours each student’s unique experience, even within a mainstream setting. Being trauma-informed means that we understand that any student attending a public yoga class may have potentially experienced trauma in their lives and that we’re taking responsibility for their welfare, by holding the space in a conscious and controlled way. The goal is to support their physical, mental and emotional safety/ well-being to provide a safe space that gives permission for deeper self-enquiry.
 
A trauma-sensitive/qualified facilitator also prioritises a safe, non-judgmental space, however, works directly with trauma survivors. This is not a mainstream offering. Trauma-sensitive yoga is an actual therapeutic approach that has been shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD and complex trauma. Trauma-sensitive/qualified yoga uses various somatic practices in a structured way to help reconnect trauma survivors to their bodies, empower them and begin the healing process. This is a method that requires specialised expertise and therefore remains outside the scope of most yoga teacher’s remit, unless they choose to embark on further education programmes with qualified, psychologically trained professionals.
 
Disclaimer:
This workshop does not qualify teachers to work directly with trauma survivors. This introductory workshop is designed to cover the basics of a functional and trauma-informed approach to provide the fundamental first steps towards fostering inclusivity within a mainstream yoga class setting.
 
Certificate:
Students who complete the full workshop will receive a 6-hour Yintelligence School of Yin & Functional Yoga CET certificate. These hours can be added towards your Continuing Education with Yoga Alliance.

SYLLABUS

A Functional Approach
 
Skeletal variation is very real. Sadly, however, much of the yoga world still teaches rigid alignment based on the assumption that we are all the same, often to a detrimental effect.
 
In this workshop, we will discuss the best practices in how to honour each person’s unique physicality through the rigorous exploration of skeletal variation, biomechanics and functional anatomy. We will unpack Paul Grilley’s 14-10-7 model and take a deep dive, through the functional yoga archetypes, offering tools to help guide your students to discern for themselves which asana shape is appropriate for their body.
 
We will begin to deconstruct outdated and rigid alignment rules, uncover the hows and whys of a functional approach to yoga and discuss why honouring individuality is the first step to creating a more inclusive environment for our students.
 
A Trauma-Informed Approach
 
Teaching functionally goes far beyond just acknowledging our physical differences. Throughout life, we all experience a build-up of mental and emotional imprints (samskaras) that can have a profound impact on the way we view, respond to and navigate life.
 
Whilst we can train ourselves, to some extent, to observe a student’s individual movement capacity, we will never be able to see the limitations caused by the emotional issues, stored deep within the tissues – the wounds that can potentially become triggered and re-opened during a yoga class.
 
Holding space in a safe and mindful way is the fundamental responsibility of any yoga teacher, so that we can continue with the privilege of guiding students through their own very personal, healing journey.
 
Students who complete the full workshop will receive a 6-hr Yintelligence School of Yin & Functional Yoga CET certificate. These hours can be added towards your Continuing Education with Yoga Alliance. the Workshop

Location, schedule & fees

Guest Workshop
Saturday
9
Dec
Sat ,
9
  Dec
2:30pm - 5:30pm
9 December 2023
Sunday
10
Dec
Sun ,
10
  Dec
2:30pm - 5:30pm
10 December 2023
Super Early Bird
HK$1,440
ended
Early Bird
HK$1,620
ended
Regular Price
HK$1,800
ended
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Nicky Hadjithoma
Nicky Hadjithoma is a Lead Yin Yoga Teacher Trainer at PURE Yoga, a Yinspiration Trainer, and a Senior Assistant to Jo Phee, the Founder of Yinspiration. With a transformative journey of overcoming addiction, anxiety, and depression through yoga, Nicky views it as a powerful healing practice and tool for personal growth. Combining Western anatomy, Eastern philosophy, and psycho-spiritual development, her classes blend functional yoga principles, Chinese Meridian Theory, and Mindfulness Meditation to guide students towards physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As an experienced teacher endorsed in the Paul Grilley method, Nicky continues to assist and teach alongside her primary mentor Jo Phee, while also conducting workshops and trainings globally in Yin Yoga and functional anatomy.