Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Len Jennings, PhD, LP; Tatyana Avdeyeva, PhD, LP


Trauma exposure is ubiquitous in our society; therefore, understanding both the positive and negative impact on the quality of life and ways to foster health are vital to the psychology profession; yoga may be one of avenue to foster healing after trauma. Yoga, a practice that incorporates the state of mental and physical health may help interpersonal trauma survivors create a state of relaxation and positive affect that may be complementary to psychotherapy (Khalsa, 2007). Similar to psychotherapy, yoga incorporates mindfulness and learning to be cognizant of internal experiences which are central components to recovering from trauma (van der Kolk, 2009). The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore the experiences of individuals who practice yoga as part of their recovery from interpersonal trauma. Using purposeful sampling, interpersonal trauma survivors who completed at least six months of psychotherapy and practiced yoga regularly, were identified (Patton, 1990). A narrow selection criterion was used to identify 11 participants, who ranged in age from 24-62 years, and practiced yoga from 1 to 15 years. Applying a grounded theory approach, this qualitative study discovered themes related to the experience of yoga after interpersonal trauma. The data analysis involved testimonial validity, an individual-level analysis, and used an auditor to ensure non-biased results. This research examined how yoga, in addition to psychotherapy, may help interpersonal trauma survivors establish a new relationship with their body, spirit, and mind.


Trauma, yoga, interpersonal, healing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.