SYF Gives Back 2016: Traumatic Stress, Resiliency and Healing with Yoga

(Past Event: March 2016)


For the 3rd year in a row SYF aims to assist yoga teachers in bringing the tools and benefits of yoga to populations suffering from PTSD, TBI, and life stresses of all kinds. Two years ago we focused on the benefits of Yoga For Veterans, and last year on Yoga For First Responders. This year we are refining and expanding by offering training in all the ways yoga and other holistic practices benefit trauma survivors and develop resiliency in a high stress environment.

The carefully selected faculty and courses in this 24 hour, two and a half day training will provide: the latest in scientific research and support for alternative modalities in healing; specific practical techniques of yoga, pranayama and meditation and an understanding of why and how they work in relation to trauma and the nervous system; a comprehensive overview of complex trauma, PTSD, and TBI; break out sessions with practitioners working in specific populations (veterans, first responders, survivors of abuse/war/crisis, caregivers, injured athletes, etc) to help guide you to a deeper understanding of how to apply these universal healing modalities to the specific community you intend to serve. In providing these trainings over the years we have realized that it is the same YOGA that benefits everyone. We want to give teachers the tools to take these skillful means to heal their communities throughout the world.

*This training is open to others serving populations dealing with PTSD, TBI, and trauma. Just know it is geared toward yoga teachers and you will get the most out of it if you have a regular yoga practice in your life.


Sedona Hilton Resort at Bell Rock

March 8 – 10, 2016

March 8 — 8 am – 6 pm (lunch included)
March 9 — 8 am – 6 pm (lunch included)
March 10 — 8 am – 12 pm (no lunch)

CEU’s for a variety of professions will be available.

optional evening film screenings and/or discussions are still being worked out!  it’s gonna be awesomesauce!

Molly Birkholm

Molly BirkholmSmOrganizations: Warriors at Ease; Healing River Yoga; iRest; Sivanada Bahamas; Integrative Restoration Institute

Populations: Veterans, Survivors of Human Trafficking


  • Yoga and Meditation, Why it Works for Trauma – the science behind it and the latest research
  • iRest Yoga Nidra: Healing through Deep Relaxation
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga: The Theory & The Practice

[/box] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom=”no” pb_border_bottom=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Molly Birkholm is a recognized leader in trauma sensitive yoga and meditation.  She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Warriors at Ease, an organization that builds yoga and meditation programs in military communities.  Molly is a long-term partner with the Department of Defense on PTSD treatment and prevention programs.  She also serves as the Director of Yoga Programming and Yoga Therapy for the Sivananda Yoga Retreat and as the Director of Human Trafficking Relief for the Integrative Restoration Institute.  She has been involved extensively with yoga and meditation related research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense and Harvard University.  Through her company Healing River Yoga, she leads worldwide retreats and teacher trainings.  She has four iRest Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation CDs.  Molly will soon release two Yoga DVDs and a book.

Dr. Jerry Wesch

Jerry Wesch, PhD

Organizations: Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program

Populations: Veterans, Active Military, Chronic Stress


  • Understanding PTSD and Complex Trauma, Cycles of Trauma
  • Self-Regulations Techniques, i.e. EFT
  • Holistic and Integrative Treatment for PTSD



Former Director of Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program at Fort Hood, an innovative multi-modal integrative PTSD treatment program combining mind/body techniques with complementary/alternative modalities. Dr. Wesch is an experienced Health Psychologist with strong leadership, program development & clinical experience in PTSD, pain management, rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, health promotion, integrative medicine, chronic disease care & research. Strong holistic and integrative medicine knowledge and experience.

Rama Jyoti Vernon

Rama_web_smOrganizations: Center for International Dialogue, International Yoga College, Unity in Yoga

Populations: Citizens in Conflict Zones


  • The Psychology of Yoga for Stress
  • Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation

[/box] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom=”no” pb_border_bottom=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Writer, teacher and lecturer in Asian Philosophy and East-West Psychology. These disciplines inspired her unique approach to yoga, dialogue, and conflict resolution. Her international work as President of the Center for International Dialogue and her vast background in Yoga have led her to co-design an extensive curriculum for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies using east-west psychology, spiritual principles of Integral Yoga and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as a basis for international non-violence training.

Love Your Brain

Organizations: Love Your Brain Foundation

Populations: Traumatic Brain Injury, Athletes, Youth


  • Yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Meditation and Pranayama for TBI

[/box] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom=”no” pb_border_bottom=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

The LoveYourBrain (LYB) Foundation is a social-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by traumatic brain injury and raise awareness about the importance of brain health. We are a growing family of like-minded individuals who believe that the brain is our most important piece of equipment. Our message—LoveYourBrain—embodies our positive approach to brain injury prevention, recovery, and health.

LoveYourBrain Foundation was established by brothers, Kevin Pearce and Adam Pearce, in 2014. This marked the fourth year since Kevin Pearce suffered a near fatal traumatic brain injury while training for snowboarding competition in the 2010 winter Olympics. Kevin’s remarkable road to recovery has inspired millions through the HBO documentary “The Crash Reel”, Kevin’s speaking engagements, and now, through the programs pioneered by the LoveYourBrain Foundation. We develop programs and experiences that integrate mindfulness and movement to help people protect and nourish the brain.

Love Your Brain Lead Meditation and Yoga Teacher Kyla Pearce has been a part of the Pearce family for years, and, following Kevin’s accident, has played an integral role in the launch of LoveYourBrain. She is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher and practitioner, and is passionate about enabling others to explore the benefits of these practices. She is also pursuing a doctorate degree from Dartmouth College with research interests in the application of yoga and meditation for therapeutic purposes.

The LoveYourBrain Yoga and Meditation program supports traumatic brain injury survivors and their caretakers to participate in gentle yoga and meditation classes tailored to their needs. We believe that yoga has the potential to transform the wellbeing of those living with traumatic brain injury by improving their ability to strengthen, and reconnect to, their mind and body.

Dr. Pauline Lucas

Organizations: Mayo Clinic

Phoenix Yoga and Meditation

Populations: Healthcare providers, Caregivers, Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Chronic Pain


  • Mindfulness and Meditation to Help Those with Chronic Pain
  • Yoga and Meditation to Address Stress and Burnout in Health Care Providers and Caregivers

[/box] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom=”no” pb_border_bottom=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Dr. Pauline Lucas has over 30 years of experience working in healthcare and wellness-the last 14 at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She experienced tremendous benefits from her yoga and meditation practice when she was healing from breast cancer 16 years ago, which inspired her to integrate yoga and meditation in the care of her physical therapy patients. Dr. Lucas is involved in integrative medicine initiatives and research and teaches meditation classes at Mayo Clinic. She frequently lectures on topics of yoga, meditation, and women’s health at local, regional, and national conferences.



Sign up for our newsletter, and be the first to know exciting presenter news, ticket discount opportunities, and ways to be invovled in the Sedona Yoga Festival community! We are so glad you're here. 

Important! Check your email to confirm your email address so we can stay in touch!

Pin It on Pinterest