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Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Christina Kane

Second Mentor

Jamie T. Williams


Physicians in the medical field are beginning to dive deeper into the effects of trauma experienced by individuals of all ages. The effects of trauma can mask itself in a plethora of undesirable or debilitating behaviors. The word, trauma, can now be heard in relation to military veterans, throughout courtrooms and in hospitals, and even in classrooms of even the youngest of populations. Trauma can result from a single distressing event, to years of abuse, neglect, or stressful events. Undoubtedly, any traumatic event can have an impact on a person’s ability to function and cope with daily life. Whether the traumatic experience was short in duration or lasting for years, it can have serious, long-term negative consequences to the mind and body, these harmful effects can influence the engagement and performance of daily occupations. Therefore, it is imperative that occupational therapy professionals understand the implications of trauma and apply appropriate interventions to facilitate participation in all areas of occupations in order to improve one’s overall quality of life. Professionals must work together collaboratively to develop therapeutic therapies with goals which help individuals learn to cope, adapt, and even overcome limited occupations that were once, perhaps, easy and routine to them. The aim of the capstone project is to develop a mind-body yoga program for individuals who are experiencing the aftermath of trauma and that promotes self-regulation skills needed for activities of daily life. After reviewing numerous articles including evidence-based research on the full-body result of trauma, I became aware of the importance of the availability of yoga for the community in which I conducted my residency. I acquired the certification of a Registered Yoga Teacher, including 200 hours of yoga instruction and practices training. As the lead yoga instructor at Smoky Mountain Occupational Therapy, I incorporated the application of yoga while integrating occupational therapy values and construct into each class since yoga promotes holistic, positive outcomes to individuals that have encountered trauma through mind-body connection, self-awareness, and unity. Furthermore, this project proposes the need for more research directly related to yoga as therapy for individuals of all ages who have experienced traumatic experiences and need assistance with daily occupations.