The Art of Inclusion – A Functional & Trauma-Informed Approach to Yoga – 6hr CET with Nicky Hadjithoma
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We will deconstruct outdated and rigid alignment rules, uncover the hows and whys of a functional approach to yoga and discuss why honouring physical individuality is the first step to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.
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.
9 & 10 December
(A total of 6 hours)
FULL WORKSHOP (A total of 6 hours)
HK$1,440 (ends 18 September)
HK$1,620 (end 9 November)
**14 days recording access
**Non-PURE Cardholders are welcome
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
Photos and videos may be taken, solely for PURE marketing purposes.
- Super Early-Bird Discount: Registrations to be sent on or before 9 September 2023.
- Early-Bird Discount: Registrations to be sent on or before 9 November 2023.
- Regular Price: Registrations to be sent starting 10 November 2023.
- No refunds or credit will be given for cancellations starting 10 November 2023.
- Valid refunds are subject to a 10% processing fee that will be deducted from your refund.
- All applications for a refund (medical & emergency reasons) must be made within 3 days after the event finishes.
Special Offer from nood food
- 10% off all nood food items or $5 off for all nood cold-pressed juices for all yoga event registrants on dates of the workshop.
Special Offer from KURIOS
- 15% off for PURE Cardholders and 10% off for non-PURE Cardholders on all KURIOS regular-priced products for all yoga event registrants on dates of the workshop.
To register, please contact any PURE Yoga studio or see reception.
Nicky Hadjithoma is a renowned international senior yin yoga teacher, known for her tenure as Lead Yin Yoga Teacher Trainer at Asia’s leading studio group, Pure Yoga.
As the Primary Senior Teaching Assistant to Jo Phee, Nicky personally apprenticed under her mentor for close to a decade, becoming the first generation Yinspiration trainer and one of the few trainers worldwide, fully endorsed to teach the Paul Grilley method.
With over ten years full-time teaching experience, Nicky’s knowledge in yin and functional yoga has been gained from teaching thousands of hours of public classes to a diverse mix of students.
In 2021, Nicky moved back to Europe, where she founded the Yintelligence School of Yin & Functional Yoga and stepped into the role of a travelling teacher trainer.
Having spent over 15 years immersed in recovery and wellness, Nicky’s yoga journey began in 2007 when seeking a path away from her troubled youth. Over time, her practice has given her the inner strength and resilience to deal with the complexities of life, help manage her long-suffering challenges with anxiety and depression - and support her long-term addiction recovery. Through first-hand experience, Nicky knows yoga to be a powerful tool of personal transformation.
Her teachings are informed by a keen interest in Western anatomy, Eastern philosophy and psycho-spiritual development. She weaves together scientific research with her own insights and personal experience to offer various integrated practices and methodologies that enliven students to embark on their own healing path and support that of those around them.
Nicky is a lifelong student, committed to her own personal inner-work through various therapeutic methods, whilst continuing to take numerous workshops and training programmes to deepen her practice, refine her teaching skills and expand her educational knowledge. Alongside her long-term mentorship, Nicky has had the privilege of studying with some of the world’s leading teachers in the fields of yin yoga, anatomy, mindfulness, TSY and Compassionate Inquiry (psycho-therapeutic approach for trauma and addiction), including Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, Bernie Clark, Joe Barnett, Josh Summers, Biff Mithoefer, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Tiffany Cruikshank, Sat Dharam and Gabor Maté, to name just a few.
Nicky has developed the Yintelligence syllabus, to focus on her own personal areas of interest in human variation (specifically, bone morphology), to encourage accessibility and inclusivity in the yoga community – as well as the power of yin yoga to cultivate emotional intelligence, foster resilience and support recovery from trauma and addictive behaviours.
Nicky currently travels between Asia, Europe and the Middle East offering both online and in-person, the full Yintelligence teacher training curriculum. She remains a part of the Pure Yoga family, returning regularly to the stdio group to lead yin yoga trainings and special events, as guest teacher.
*Please refer here for the full terms & conditions