Understanding the Neurobiology of Traumatic Stress and Healing Through Trauma Informed Yoga

Fall Training: 1 month on-line oct. 3 + in-person Nov 3, 4 & 5, 2017  

spring training: 1 month On-line March 27 + in-person april 27, 28 & 29, 2018

Cost of the Training

$425 - Early Bird till September 1, 2017  

$475 - Total after September 1, 2017  

$525 - Community Cost for training & additional funds towards scholarship program

A portion of funds raised through the training programs is allocated in the form of seed money or sholarships to help graduates start their own trauma-informed classes! 

Refund Policy: Full payment due one week before online training. Refunds may be issued 2 weeks prior to online classroom less a $75 non-refundable processing fee. Tuition is non-refundable after this time. 

Yogamour is a registered nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, thereby a portion of this training program may be tax-deductible as permitted by law. 

 Please contact - Geni Donnelly for more information.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Yogamour Trauma-Informed Yoga Training is available to yoga teachers, social workers, therapists and educators who would like to work with communities or individuals with trauma, and serve as an adjunct therapy to promote growth and transformation. 

"Feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, fear of the future, regret of the past and perhaps accompanied by health issues can be the result of unresolved trauma. A traumatic event is anything that overwhelms one's capacity to cope and respond. It leaves one feeling helpless, hopeless, and out of control."

The goal of a Yogamour Trauma-Informed Yoga Training is to provide the education and tools necessary to establish resiliency and greater self-regulation.  Teaching through a trauma-informed lens is about creating an environment of predictability and a safe container within the body to promote stability, good self-esteem, and healthy relationships.  

Offered as an adjunct therapy towards healing, this training will encourage the trainees to observe their personal experiences and motivations, and strive to create a meaningful and safe environment for survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, addiction and young adults with difficult challenges as well as other sensitive populations.

Training Program Format

The program offers 1 month on-line training modules in preparation for a 3 day in-person training intensive at the Fox Haven Farm and Learning Center in Jefferson, Maryland (15 minutes for Historic Downtown Frederick, MD, 1 hour from Baltimore and Washington DC). Accommodations are available for an additional cost at the Fox Haven Farm and Learning Center. 

The on-line modules will be comprised of videos, reading assignments and teacher-student interactions which are designed to provide a physiological framework of shock and complex trauma and how they may be manifested in the body and mind.  You will learn about the latest research in the field of trauma studies and how yoga and mindfulness practices can be used to manage the feelings of being overwhelmed by anxiety and stress.  

Following the 1 month the on-line classroom session, 3 days at the Fox Haven Farm will give students the opportunity to learn how to teach through a trauma-informed lens and offer classes for individuals facing multiple obstacles in their lives, including domestic violence, addiction, incarceration, and mental health challenges. Our certified instructors will give you tools from the growing field of trauma research using yoga and mindfulness to regulate, recognize and resolve symptoms of trauma. The training will include lectures, discussion and yoga practice to begin the process of UNDERSTANDING THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF TRAUMATIC STRESS AND SELF-REGULATION THROUGH TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA.

Yoga Alliance CEUs available to yoga teachers. CEUs now approved through the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.

what to expect and 3 day schedule

  • Meet and Greet Welcome Dinner with keynote speaker to begin the 3 day intensive

  • Understanding the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress 

  • How the body stores the effects of trauma and how yoga can help 

  • Creating a safe and supportive space for healing to unfold

  • Crafting a strength based practice which includes energetic cuing, trauma-sensitive language and intelligent sequencing 

  • Recognizing self-regulation, personal resources and support for this work; building safe connection with self and others 

  • Best practices for teaching yoga in service based settings

  • Opportunities for practicum, volunteering and mentorship

  • Certification - Yogamour Graduation and Gifting - creating your own "next steps" in this field                                                   

 Friday –

4 to 5pm – check-in

5 to 6pm – meet + greet (appetizers and beverages provided)

6 to 9 – dinner + keynote speaker

Saturday –

7:30 to 9 – yoga practice

9 to 10:00 – light breakfast provided by Yogamour

10:00 to 12:30 – lecture, Q & A

12:30 to 1:30pm – lunch for purchase

1:30 to 4:30 – breakout groups + practice

4:30 to 5pm - group discussion, Q & A

Sunday –

7:30 to 9 – yoga practice

9 to 10:00 – light breakfast provided by Yogamour

10:00 to 12:30 – lecture, Q & A

12:30 to 1:30pm – lunch for purchase

1:30 to 3:30 – breakout groups + practice

3:30 to 4:30 - our "next steps" - 0pportunities for practicum, volunteering and mentorship, Q & A

4:30 to 5pm -   Yogamour Trauma Informed Training Graduation + Certification

*Schedule may be subject to change

Stay on the farm with us! Fox Haven is a magical and healing space!  Accommodations are available on the Fox haven Farm and Learning Center.

fox haven farm and learning center



Presenters and facilitators


Leeann Hjemvik

Leeann is both an outpatient, trauma-informed therapist in the Frederick area, as well as a yoga instructor.  She earned her Master's in Social Work in 2009, and her RYT-200 in 2015. She truly believes that yoga is a wonderful way to heal, and incorporates yogic principles, including mindfulness, meditation, appropriate asana and pranayama into her therapeutic work.  She has worked with youths and their families in various settings, and is trained in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), by Dr. Bruce Perry, as well as the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency Model (ARC), by Dr. Margaret Blaustein. She has also attended trainings by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Her current practice allows her the flexibility to blend her passion for yoga while providing individualized therapeutic support. Leeann teaches yoga as a compliment to various organizations, as well as offering classes in local yoga studios in Frederick, Maryland.



Geni Donnelly - Yogamour USA 

Geni, E-RYT 500®, YACEP®, is Co-Founder of Yogamour, an organization inviting individuals to take their practice off of the mat through participation in volunteer out-reach programs globally and locally. Geni is a registered Prana Flow® yoga instructor and Advanced Yoga Therapist. Credentials include certification in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga for PTSD founded by Dave Emerson and Dr. Bessell van der Kolk of the Trauma Center of Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts, as well as a Yoga for Cancer (Y4C) Teacher Training with Tari Prinster, Street Yoga Training for Traumatized and Disadvantaged Youth, and Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Training with Hala Khouri with Off the Mat and Into the World.

Geni teaches Trauma Sensitive yoga classes for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse for the Heartly House of Frederick, public trauma classes for women, addiction and re-entry for Justice and Recovery Advocates. Geni offers donation yoga classes through Yogamour's non-profit organization in an effort to raise funds to provide meaningful and therapeutic yoga and mindfulness programs for under-served populations. 

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Machelle Lee

Machelle has 25 years of experience as a yoga teacher, massage therapist, childbirth educator and holds a Masters Degree in mythology and depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is the founder of Roots & River Yoga Studio in Brunswick, Maryland and leads intensive yoga teacher training programs. Sparked by extensive training with Paul Grilley and the science behind Yin Yoga, Machelle has dedicated her research to the ways in which psychological trauma can get lodged and held in the fascia of the body. When approached systematically and compassionately, the soft tissue of the body can free long held chronic pain and facilitate emotional release bringing one into a more natural, calm state of well being. Much trauma we carry is not just held in the mind, but also in the body itself, most specifically in these deep connective tissues. Just as yin never exists without yang, trauma never exists without healing. Where the trauma is held in the body, there also is the healing. By allowing the muscles to relax and our physical and emotional attention to focus on the body's deep connective tissue, we can begin to release this trauma and access the healing that is in our natural state. Machelle's unique teaching leaves logic theory, traditional eastern medicine, psychology and neuroscience with storytelling, archetypes and poetry. This approach to the whole person aids in facilitating an understanding of the body mind connection both somatically and intellectually in a way that is always aimed at promoting a grounded approach to self-development and healing. 


Jan Hummer

Jan is the Co – Founder and Director of Open Minds, Inc. a local non – profit teaching mindfulness through breathing techniques, meditation, art, yoga, nutrition, and nature education to underserved communities. She is the Mindfulness Specialist and Networking Coordinator at Fox Haven Learning Center. Jan completed her Masters at Naropa University in 2011 in Contemplative Education and has over 2000 hrs of experience teaching mindfulness education to Pre - K students - high school, college, and adults. Studies into the brain of traumatized individuals reveal that although there can be crippling side-effects, there is also hope through healing with mindfulness practices. Jan teaches the practices of mindfulness which stimulate the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain linked to reflective awareness. Studies show that mindfulness practice helps connect with positive emotional and social experiences and hope for healing.

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Kristen Townsend

Kristen Townsend, M.S., has been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to study yoga and it's deep roots, and to learn to teach from several high-level teachers, healers, scholars and innovators within the global yoga community, including Shiva Rea, Maria Garre, Shannon Paige, Daniel Odier, Christopher Tompkins, & Sonia Masocco.

Kristen's yoga teacher training has come through Shiva Rea's Samudra Global School for Living Yoga. Her business experience for the past 13 years has spanned her own businesses of teaching yoga and figure skating, as well as supporting the work of yoga businesses of all sizes, including individual teachers, yoga studios, and the global programs offered by Shiva Rea. 

Kristen will be presenting a segment on chair yoga as it would be relative in an office setting or for limited mobility in a trauma informed way.

Her passion for the environment has fueled her earning a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology as well as studying the amazing life of honey bees for her thesis and research with the USDA ARS Bee Research Lab.  



Christiana (Ana) Lang

Influenced by teachers on both the east and west coast of the U.S., Christiana received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Kripalu School of Yoga in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. The Kripalu style foundation is based on the union of body and mind, paying special attention on what occurs in pause and inquiry.  She has cultivated a nine year long yoga practice complete with personal and professional growth courses such as Landmark education, igolu development and intensive goal setting facilitation sessions at the personal, corporate and international level.  Christiana spent 2.5 years living in a rural Thailand village as a Peace Corps Volunteer where she brought caregiver support yoga classes and created an occupational yoga teacher training program. In addition to Thailand, Christiana has taught yoga in India, Mexico, California, Connecticut and Maryland.

As a Yogamour Global Ambassador, Christiana has aided in Thailand yoga volunteer retreats and has co-led the Jaipur, India volunteer retreat and program. 

Christiana is currently works as a Public Health Professional for the Federal Government specializing in Women's Health. She will cover the topic of the importance of being trauma informed in the arena of global health.  Her professional work as an international peace-builder is rooted in the belief that through love and acceptance of ourselves, the path to interconnectedness is realized.

“As I often tell my students, the two most important phrases in therapy, as in yoga, are “Notice that” and “What happens next?” Once you start approaching your body with curiosity rather than with fear, everything shifts.” 

― Bessel A. van der KolkThe Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma