Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Madison WI

Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) offers relief and healing for people who have complex trauma or C-PTSD from neglect in childhood, verbal or physical abuse, sexual assault, forced loss or displacement, social patterns of targeted oppression and violence (such as racism, homophobia, etc), or other human brutality. (You can scroll down for information on current TCTSY classes)

TCTSY was collaboratively developed at the Trauma Center of the Justice Resource Institute in Boston by trauma clinicians, people living with trauma, and yoga teachers, led by David Emerson E-RYT (author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy).  It is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as an empirically validated adjunct treatment for complex trauma.

I offer classes and private sessions in Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, in and around Madison Wisconsin.  I’m certified as a TCTSY Facilitator with 300 hours of training, working under the auspices of the Center for Trauma and Embodiment, of the Justice Resource Institute.   I have shared yoga with domestic violence survivors, immigrants, veterans, and people of all ages, and I love doing this work.

To see the TCTSY Facilitator Code of Conduct (or Ways of Being document), you can follow this link: TCTSY-F Code of Conduct

These are the principles at the core of how TCTSY facilitators work; we agree to all of these principles in our work with TCTSY, and I follow almost all of them in my other yoga teaching as well. 

TCTSY sessions are gentle and respectful. They can be chair-based for people with limited mobility, or can move through a range of forms in which people stand, sit, or lie on a yoga mat.  The focus is on respecting each person, using language that encourages an experience of freedom and choice, and inviting you to attend to what you might feel in your body in the present moment, to the extent that you want to or feel able to.  A TCTSY facilitator will not touch you or correct you; instead they will offer possibilities for your practice and support you in choosing what you feel works best for you.

TCTSY practices are rooted in the findings of trauma research. In PTSD and complex trauma the interoceptive pathways to the brain tend to become dysregulated or shut down.  These pathways allow us to feel sensation in our bodies, and to make choices based on what we feel. Some neuroscientists theorize that interoceptive processes are integral to our sense of who and how we are in the world, and to our experiences of emotional well-being. TCTSY was developed, in part, to help these interoceptive processes become more dependable and accurate after trauma.

Research has found that over time TCTSY can help to reactivate and regulate your interoceptive pathways, which can improve a sense of connection with your body and the ability to make more conscious decisions in your life. Meanwhile the slower pacing, the focus on what you feel as you move into the yoga forms, and the respectful support, all can help you to practice yoga safely and well.

If you’d like to learn more about TCTSY and research into its effectiveness, you can visit: To ask me about TCTSY classes and sessions, please email me.

Thank you for your interest,


Through Greenroot Yoga LLC I’m certified to offer TCTSY through the Dane County Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) program, for service-users with mental health or substance use conditions who are on Medicaid.  To learn more about the CCS program you can click on this link.

From the website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TC-TSY) is a psychosocial group intervention for adults affected by traumatic stress, which incorporates yoga principles and practices. TC-TSY aims to support emotional regulation, stabilization, and skill building for adults with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); complex PTSD; dissociative disorders; and other related emotional and behavioral problems.

The program is based on the central components of the hatha style of yoga, which focuses on integrating breathing and meditation with a set of physical postures and movements. In TC-TSY, elements of traditional hatha yoga are modified to  maximize tolerance, build trauma survivors’ experiences of empowerment, and cultivate a more positive relationship to one’s body. Trauma-informed alterations to accommodate unique needs and sensitivities include prioritizing gentleness in movement, removing strongly suggestive language, de-emphasizing posture intensity, eliminating hands-on assistance from the instructor, and highlighting opportunities for participants to adjust the practice and make selections that feel appropriate for themselves. The four overarching themes of the intervention are to 1) experience the present moment, 2) make choices, 3) take effective action, and 4) create rhythms.

TC-TSY is designed to be delivered in 10, 1-hour sessions, which are carried out weekly and follow an established protocol.  However, in community practice, the program is more commonly implemented as a component-based intervention that emphasizes repetition and mastery of primary intervention elements in short-term (8 to 16 sessions) and long-term (over 20 sessions) groups.  Short-term groups are commonly “closed” with fixed participants identified at the outset; ongoing groups typically allow for “open” or revolving enrollment.  The program may also be provided within the context of individual therapy. Adaptations of the practice are available for implementation with youths.


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