Abstract

This study examined a Trauma-Informed Yoga (TIY) intervention created specifically for sexual assault survivors and delivered in a community-based group setting. Much of the existing research on this type of intervention has been conducted in clinical trials as opposed to community-based venues. As sexual assault is a common type of trauma and results more commonly in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the current study aimed to shed light on the potential benefits of a trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness intervention for survivors of sexual assault in the natural setting of a community-based organization. The intervention was developed and implemented by licensed mental health providers and registered yoga teachers and modeled on the evidence-based work of the Trauma Center at the Justice Research Institute. The study employed a traditional quantitative one-sample, pre- and posttest design. Survey items were drawn from two existing measures: (1) Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and (2) Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. The majority of the sample (n = 37) identified as White (67.6%), followed by Latina (13.5%), African American (8.1%), multiracial (5.4%), and other (2.7%). The mean age of participants was 29 years (standard deviation 8 years, range 18–56 years). All participants identified as female. Findings demonstrated statistically significant changes in participants' emotion regulation and skilled awareness, both of which have the potential to reduce PTSD symptomatology. The present discussion considers the results in light of previous research and presents study limitations.

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