“Peace begins with a smile”
In an unprecedented and intensifying flood, 60 million people around the world have become refugees, often escaping war in places like Afghanistan Sudan, Syrian and now Myanmar. Of these as many as 50% suffer from trauma and mental health problems.
To respond to this need, Tools for Inner Peace has focused on offering free refugee yoga classes. Our first classes for refugees were launched in London in 2016; from the beginning of 2017 we decided to take this work to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
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. 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. Here is how a refugee from Afghanistan described her experience of this summer’s Restorative Retreat for refugee women:
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. We are also looking for experienced yoga teachers to volunteer in Lebanon as mentors and guides.
Please share our video below 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. 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.”