“Peace begins with a smile”
Of the 60 million refugees in the world as many as 50% suffer from trauma and mental health problems. Those we work with – whether in London or in Lebanon – are finding solace in yoga. Their open smiles at the end of each class testify to the benefits.
Yoga is a simple, cheap and effective means of trauma recovery. It soothes the nervous system; relaxes the body and mind; and brings peace and inner clarity. Here is how a refugee from Afghanistan described her experience of this summer’s Restorative Retreat for refugee women:
“I tried yoga for the first time in my life. Every moment was full of joy. I learned how to go deep inside my brain and soul and search for the peace of my mind.”
To expand this work and make yoga accessible to refugees everywhere, we need your help, whether in donations or by giving your time volunteering.
In Lebanon, our Yoga for Peace work with Syrian refugees is coming into its second year. We will be handing over to local yoga teachers to keep it growing and make it sustainable. Our Lebanese partner, Salam LADC, has launched a campaign to raise stipends for them; donate now on Generosity. We are also looking for experienced yoga teachers to volunteer in Lebanon as mentors and guides.
Please share our video above with your friends, family, yoga students, neighbours and wider community. Pass around a collection box, organise a bake sale or a donations-based yoga class. In this season of giving, you could surprise a loved one with the unique gift of bringing joy to others. As Mother Teresa has observed, “Peace begins with a smile.”