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YIS 12 Principles for Growth

YIS believes that trauma is already associated with too much COST. YIS believes that healing should be FREE.  All of our work on the 12 Trauma-Informed Principles for Growth and the research that we have posted here are OPEN-ACCESS for anyone who wants to create a trauma-informed program. We only ask that you cite and acknowledge the work  (email and tell us about your project so we can celebrate with you). We want to be able to report back to those who fund us. 
We want to show them how loving-kindness can, in fact, change the world. 

Overview of the YIS 12 Principles for Growth 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor Frankl

Growth Zone

The 12 Trama-Informed Principles for Growth were developed to help you create the space between stimulus and response. They are aligned with all published research and books on trauma-informed yoga and are being actively used in research across the globe. These principles are for use in the GROWTH ZONE and help you create a GROWTH MINDSET. In YIS, we ask you to get out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone- the place where your life can change to SERVE the best version of your self (you become a true yogi in service). You are responsible for for bringing yourself to a growth mindset and entering your growth zone.

Cite as Yogis in Service and Cook-Cottone et al., (2016). Growth Zone.

Your growth zone is not in your comfort zone and is- therefore- not comfortable. We ask you to consider that despite being uncomfortable, there is a lot of room for growth that is well within your safety zone. Through practice and support, you can learn to move in and out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone- staying well within your safety zone. With the 12 Principles for Growth, you can create a life that is fuller, more flexible, adaptive, integrated, energized and stable (read Daniel Siegel’s work on integration in his book Mindsight). In your growth you will find connection- to self, others, and your community.

YIS 12 Principles for Growth 

Part I: Inner Resources (Kids: Me)


    • I can (kids- I can) 


    • I am worth the effort (kids- I am always worth it)

Part II: Positive Embodiment (kids- Me and My Body)


    • I deserve to be safe (kids- I deserve to be safe)


    • My breath is my most powerful tool (kids- My breath is powerful)


    • I work toward presence in my body (kids- I can connect with my body)


    • I feel so that I can heal (kids- It’s okay to feel my feelings)


Part III: Self-Regulation (kids: Me and My Choices)


    • I can find choice in the present moment (kids- Right now, I can make the best choice for me)


    • My body is a source for connection, guidance, and coping (kids- I can connect with my body to steady my feelings and make choices)


    • I can create the conditions for safety and growth (kids- I can make choices to keep me safe and growing)


    • I can create a balance between structure and change (kids- I can choose when it is best to try new things)

Part IV: Mindful Grit (kids: Me and My Work)


    • I honor the individual path of recovery and growth (kids- I grow and learn in my own way [we all do])


    • I work toward the possibility of growth and effectiveness in my own life (kids- I can create my own path of possibility)

The 12 Principles for Growth can be embodied most effectively in sequence. That is, first, empowerment and worth. This is where we begin from I CAN and I AM WORTH THE EFFORT. Next, the physical basics- safety, breath, presence, and feeling. Then, you are ready for authentic choice, grounding, ownership, and sustainability. Last, you enter the zone of what we call MINDFUL GRIT. Here you practice both self compassion and self-determination. Throughout your practice you can work you way up and down this list. You can select one at a time or two that work together (e.g., the physical basics can be paired with all the rest). As you practice with the 12 Principles for Growth you will notice your connection with self, others, and your world shifting. You will have a felt sense (Part I) of your Inner Resources, (Part II) Positive Embodiment, (Part III) Self-Regulation, and (Part IV) Mindful Grit.


Honoring and Citing Our Work

Please use and please cite our work. This information is the result of 100s and 100s of hours of research and YIS teamwork. Your citation of our work will honor this effort and is the right thing to do. Thank you! and we are so excited for your growth and connection. Cite as Yogis in Service and Cook-Cottone et al., (2016). Growth Zone.

Much Love,

The Yogis in Service Team

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