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Social Work Yoga and Mindfulness Practice Group

Convenors: Andrew Fitzpatrick, Fiona Stevens, Jo Mensinga & Linda Kennedy


The purpose of the group is to build skills, and knowledge, and to provide a forum for discussing the social work perspective in using yoga and mindfulness practices in working with individuals and groups/communities.

The group will aim to engage in a broad range of activities drawing upon the expertise and interests of members such as: peer support, fostering networking and the opportunity to discuss professional issues for social workers with an interest and/or experience in yoga and mindfulness practices.

Sharing of contemporary and relevant information, resources (for clients and practitioners), research literature and continuing professional development opportunities. Plan, develop and provide advice to the AASW on continuing professional development activities or research that encourages the development and continuation of social work skills in the area of yoga and mindfulness practices (e.g. mental health, education, trauma, justice, aged care, asylum seekers and refugees).

2022 Events

Group meetings and peer supervision will be held by video conference on the following dates.

The AASW CPD event listing will be updated with these events shortly. It really helps if you register to receive the zoom details but also so that we know you're planning to join us. Also, if you register, your CPD log will automatically updated after the event to reflect the CPD hours associated with the event. Places are limited so it you realise you are no longer able to attend, please let Anneka know at the AASW so that we can make the place available to others.

Email [email protected] or [email protected] for details.

Social Work Yoga and Peer Supervision Sessions - Tuesdays monthly 6:30-7:30

June 28th

July 26th - Unfortunately this meeting is cancelled due to unforseen circumstances

August 30th - "We will be having a peer discussion (in small break out groups), around possible adaptations for people with disabilities and neurodiverse when using mindfulness"

September 27th

October 25th

November 29th

Dec /Jan

Register for the meetings here.

Social Work, Yoga and Mindfulness Online Resources

A collection of articles, websites, peak bodies, client, social worker, training resources

"A Narrative Inquiry Exploring Social Workers’ Understanding of Yoga and its Application in Professional Practice" (2020) by practice group member Dr Jo Mensinga - "Australian Social Work" journal - access

Jo Mensinga (2011) The Feeling of Being a Social Worker: Including Yoga as an Embodied Practice in Social Work Education, Social Work Education, 30:6, 650-662, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2011.586562

Van der Kolk, Stone, West, Rhodes, Emerson, Suvak, Spinazzola (2014) Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial, in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 75(6), e559-e565 online

Warner, Spinazzola, Westcott, Gunn, Hodgdon (2014) The Body Can Change the Score: Empirical Support for Somatic Regulation in the Treatment of Traumatized Adolescents, in Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 7(4) online

Amy Weintraub, MFA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP, founder of the LifeForce Yoga® Healing Institute, is a pioneer in the field of yoga and mental health.
Amy is the author of Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books), Yoga Skills for Therapists (W.W. Norton) and numerous articles and book chapters. Her evidence-based Yoga protocol for managing mood is used in health care settings globally, is offered in professional trainings, and is featured on eight audio-visual products, including the LifeForce Yoga series, an award-winning library of evidence-based yoga and meditation CDs and DVDs for mood management.

The distinction between a yoga class and Yoga therapy
Although yoga as a practice is therapeutic, there are significant differences between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist and between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session. Clarity about these differences is helpful for the teacher/therapist, as well as for the student/client. We will look at this distinction from the perspectives of the yoga student, the yoga therapy client, the yoga teacher, the yoga therapist, the yoga class, and the yoga therapy session.

How Yoga Helps Heal Trauma: A Q&A with Bessel van der Kolk

Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga Australia, TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience and Hatha Yoga practice, with an emphasis on mindful body-based yoga forms and breathing practices. TCTSY reduces the symptoms of complex trauma and PTSD. To be a TCTSY Facilitator successful completion of a 300hr TCTSY Certification is required. To use trauma-aware or trauma-sensitive yoga training is highly recommended.

Dadirri - Indigenous Deep Listening Meditation (credit Miriam Rose)

Yoga Australia - Peak body for Yoga information in Australia

This Way Up - free Introduction to Mindfulness course:

"Getting Started with Mindfulness":

Smiling Mind App:

Monash University Mindfulness Resources

Oxford University Mindfulness Resources

Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness

Trauma Sensitive Yoga Australia is committed to expanding the awareness of trauma sensitive practices within the traditional yoga class format, as well as supporting mental health clinicians to integrate trauma informed yoga practices into their work. Their workshops are designed to enhance the skills of yoga teachers and mental health clinicians and other allied health professionals, when working with clients in trauma recovery. These workshops to the Australian therapeutic community for the past seven years.

Pat Ogden, psychotherapist and practitioner in somatic work in releasing trauma.

Tara Brach, meditation teacher - resources

"Walk Slowly" by Danna Faulds (from "Poems from the Heart of Yoga"):

Centre for Clinical Interventions - "Self Compassion" resources:
Additional resources:

University of Buffalo School of Social Work's Self-Care Starter Kit:

Mindfulness in Social Work Education and Practice:

Contact the Victorian Branch

Victorian Branch Services Coordinator
(Monday to Friday)

Ph: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)
E: [email protected]

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

Connect with us on:

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers