Empowering refugees and conflict survivors to manage their own healing and wellbeing with tools from yoga.
We foster enduring peace and positive social change by connecting refugees and other trauma survivors to the teachings of classical yoga. This enables those who most need it to address trauma at its roots and manage their own healing and wellbeing.
Tools for Inner Peace is founded on the practice of seva or selfless service, relying on volunteer efforts wherever possible. We depend on grants and individual donations to provide a small stipend to our locally based teachers, and to offer scholarships and trainings for new teachers. With the support of our donors, we aim to make available the tools of yoga to ever greater numbers of refugees and others in need.
We judge our impact by the increased happiness and health of individual participants, and by the broader effects on the peace of communities. We value feedback and testimonials by participants, and are working with experts to find additional ways to measure our impact.
Tools for Inner Peace is committed to the safety, security and dignity of all participants, teachers and volunteers.
Healing the wounds of war
Whole societies have been traumatised by war. A new generation is growing up that has never known peace. According to some measures, half of refugees are experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. We aim to introduce the tools of yoga to refugees and asylum seekers who are suffering from stress, anxiety and trauma, so that they can live balanced and productive lives.
With tools to manage stress and recover from trauma, the widespread mental health problems among refugees can be reduced. The various yoga techniques taught in our classes work on the nervous system to bring about profound relaxation. The parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, strengthening the relaxation response, while the sympathetic nervous system with its stress response calms down. This reduces such symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, anger and stress-related physical ailments.
Since January 2017, Tools for Inner Peace has been volunteering in Bekaa valley, Lebanon, where 800,000 Syrian refugees live in informal camps. We have been delivering yoga and relaxation techniques to women and children, as a way of providing relief from war trauma and helping them cope with their daily lives. This work is currently supported by the Kamynu Trust.
We have also been receiving funds from the UK’s National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund) and Sport England since summer 2016 for a series of classes, as well as a retreat, for UK based refugees and asylum seekers to promote their mental and emotional wellbeing. We are currently offering free yoga classes in London, Liverpool and Yorkshire. To meet the widespread need, our project is training additional yoga teachers in the the therapeutic use of yoga to alleviate suffering and release trauma.
Restorative retreats for peacemakers
Tools for Inner Peace promotes the mental and emotional wellbeing of people at the frontlines. We offer tools from yoga, alongside psychotherapy methods, to build resilience – as well as to alleviate suffering in the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
Journalists, aid workers and diplomats who serve in conflict zones often witness traumatic events in the course of their work, experiencing stress, burnout or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Restorative retreats can be arranged to prepare professionals for work at the frontlines, to help manage stress, build resilience and unwind after assignments. Offered as full-immersion residential retreats.