Yoga for Traumatic Stress: An Occupation

Morgan Farris, Nova Southeastern University


Trauma is an overwhelming distressing event, or events, that impacts a person’s ability to function and cope with daily life. Unfortunately, traumatic experiences are sometimes inevitable and can cause serious, long-term negative consequences to the mind and body. These effects can influence the engagement and performance of 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 occupation in order to improve one’s overall quality of life. The aim of the capstone project is to develop a mind-body yoga program for individuals with various traumatic conditions that promotes self-regulation skills needed for activities of daily life. After evidence-based research on the full-body result of trauma, knowledge acquired from a 200-hour yoga instructor training, and application of yoga while integrating occupational therapy values and construct, it was found that yoga promotes holistic, positive outcomes to individuals who have encountered trauma through mind-body connection, self-awareness, and unity. Furthermore, this project proposes the need for more research directly related to yoga, trauma, and occupational therapy.