Katie’s Bookshelf: Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga by Emerson & Hopper


Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper is a must read for anyone looking to use yoga in the healing process from trauma.  Whether you are a survivor, mental health therapist, or a yoga instructor, this book has such valuable information.  This book is accessible to any of the above groups of people and easy to get through.  Some books on either trauma, yoga, or trauma-sensitive yoga can be quite heavy reads, but not this one.  Emerson has training as a mental health clinician and yoga instructor who works closely with Bessel Van Der Kolk(The Body Keeps the Score) and his research center on developing protocols and research studies.  Emerson has his own center in the Boston area and provides many trainings on his brand of “trauma-sensitive yoga.”

The books chapters are divided up simply into one on traumatic stress, yoga, and trauma-sensitive yoga as well as for survivors, clinicians, and yoga instructors.  This book includes a great sequence for survivors to use as well as a chart on body-based movement paired with therapeutic goals.

Many times, the authors use vignettes to illustrate a point that I find helpful.  I have used this book as a resource for my own trainings in trauma-sensitive yoga.

Read this book if:

  • You are a trauma survivor
  • Mental Health Clinician interested on how to integrate yoga with trauma survivors
  • You are a Yoga Instructor

Buy it here.

Emerson, D., & Hopper, E. K. (2011). Overcoming trauma through yoga: reclaiming your body. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.