Birth Trauma for Yoga Teachers & Therapists

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Introduction to Supporting Clients with Birth Trauma

For Yoga Teachers & Birth Professionals

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Date: Sun 26 June 2022

Time: 1000-1600 BST (UK Time)

Cost: £80

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Feedback from attendees of Tessa's Trainings:

“Thank you very much for yesterday’s course. It was very interesting and helpful for my teaching. I found the content and your delivery was just right and the ability to interact over zoom was done so well. Thank you. 

I spent about an hour telling everything from the workshop to my husband. That is always a good sign, to want to share everything!” Ruth Barber., Attendee, Birth Trauma Workshop


"I really enjoyed this workshop.... I liked Tessa's examples ...Tessa guided some great visualisations ....I left feeling resourced and inspired with plenty of new material to explore in classes." Amba Cooper- The Pelvis in Pregnancy

"I did enjoy it, very much.  Many thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge, and for providing a stimulating forum for discussion." Una Bentley - Biomechanics of Birth

" are such a mine of information, thank you so much for sharing your expertise"

"Brilliant tips"

"I am loving all your knowledge"

To see the extensive range of pre & postnatal CPDs we have designed to give you practical tools that can further develop your teaching practice, please click here.

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Policies & Procedures For the full course policies and terms & conditions please click here.





Course Outline: 
For yoga teachers and birth professionals. 

Unfortunately, if you teach pregnancy or postnatal yoga, you are likely to have clients in your classes who have experienced birth trauma.  This may be because they thought that their life was in danger or that of their baby, or very sadly because their baby was stillborn.  The trauma may result from other loss such as miscarriage or abortion.

However, trauma can also be more subtle.  For example, trauma may be experienced as a result of a subtle violation of someone's integrity during the prenatal, labour and/or postnatal journey where their wishes were not upheld.  Something that didn't feel right leaves an on-going feeling of not feel safe in your own skin.

Yoga can provide a body-based way of learning to regulate the nervous system: how to be in our natural state of ‘alert relaxation’, rather than reacting to current events as if the trauma was reoccurring again and again.

In this workshop, you will discover

  • Why as yoga teachers we can offer valuable support for body-based healing and as an adjunct to talking therapies
  • Where to signpost your clients for support, if this hasn't been done by the hospital or GP
  • How to recognise the signs of trauma and how someone may present in class if they have experienced trauma
  • Simple steps you can take in your group classes to minimise the possibility re-traumatising someone
  • Psychoeducation on how the nervous system responds to trauma and triggers for your own understanding and to share with your clients
  • The importance of social engagement in the birth journey and why the freeze response is sometimes mistaken as consent (and the difficult feelings that can arise from this)
  • Polyvagal theory and how we can use yoga practices to support the nervous system of someone with birth trauma
  • Practical sessions to experience and practice how to teach in a trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive way, including invitational and interoceptive language


The workshop will be a mixture of theoretical background and practical sessions.  Tessa will model the key components of a trauma-sensitive approach through the workshop itself.

It is not the aim of the workshop to enable you to provide trauma therapy, but your learning will support you to create a safe space for someone with trauma to connect with their body and support the therapy that they are receiving elsewhere.

If you have experienced birth trauma yourself or are experiencing vicarious (or secondary trauma), please contact Tessa to talk about whether the workshop will be helpful to you at this time at

At the end of the training, you will receive Certificate of Attendance from Yoga Teachers Forum.


Tessa Sanderson

About the facilitator - Tessa Sanderson:

Tessa has taught Pregnancy Yoga for 15 years and has 12,000+ teaching hours under her belt, including Well Woman and Mother & Baby Yoga, Restorative and Birth Preparation workshops.  She has taught yoga in four diverse cities: London, Southampton, Bristol and Reading. She is the author of Pearls of Birth Wisdom: An Inner Journey with Stories, Insights and Practices.
Tessa is a member of her local Maternity Voices Forum at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and runs the Everything Baby Berkshire network for antenatal and postnatal professionals.  She has a PhD in Medical Sociology and loves using balloons as props in her pregnancy classes.  IG@tessa.venuti.sanderson and @birth_wisdom_pearls