All posts tagged: yoga for refugees

Suddenly There is Something More

Shukriya, originally from Aleppo, has lived in refugee settlements in Bekaa valley, Lebanon, for the last six years. Tools for Inner Peace have been training her as a community yoga teacher for three years since 2020.  She smiles when she talks about her experience, “Yoga relaxes me and brings me pleasure. The classes are really beautiful.” “I’ve been doing yoga for four years now, and so much has changed since the first class. After the third class I started experiencing big improvements. I felt changes in my breath and in my overall energy. Whatever stiffness I would feel, I would just go to the class and it would be gone. If I felt anxiety, it would just go during the class.  “It became like an addiction. I had so much good energy. Every time I would come for a class, I would feel optimistic afterwards. I would feel fresh, as if reborn. It’s like every time you enter a class you’re entering a different world. You detach from the world, to a world where there

Yoga for Trauma weekend workshop, near Sheffield, June 2024

Dates: Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd June Venue: Lockerbrook Residential Centre, Snake Pass, Bamford, Hope Valley S33 0BJ Join us for a workshop on the neuroscience of trauma recovery and trauma-informed yoga. Experience its benefits on body, breath and mind through gentle asana, pranayama, yoga nidra and meditation. This weekend is open to everyone wishing to teach yoga to refugees or other trauma survivors, or interested in learning how to use the body, breath and awareness to overcome and heal from their own stress and trauma. Asana, pranayama, yoga nida and meditation will be combined with theory and an understanding of how trauma affects your physiology and psychology, as well as how yogic practices can support your capacity to find balance and restore resilience. Sessions will include: • Yoga for renegotiating trauma and connecting with the body • Freeing up the breath and letting go of tensions • Orienting to the present and an environment of safety • Understanding the neuroscience of trauma • Signs and symptoms of trauma • Trauma first aid: doing no

What the Research Says: a study of our Yoga for Peace project

Mind, body and community: The potential for yoga as mental health and psychosocial support in emergency contexts Jessica Stone Lebanon is home to approximately 1.5 million refugees, numbering roughly a quarter of the entire population—the highest proportion in the world. Many Syrian refugees in Lebanon have witnessed or experienced physical, psychological or sexual violence, and continue to experience food insecurity, discrimination and social isolation. Reports of traumatic flashbacks, uncontrollable emotions, hopelessness, despair, and unusual physical and mental exhaustion are also common, as are high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (1).  Women in particular are increasingly exposed to sexual assault, interpersonal violence and survival sex work in the settlements (2),  yet there are few mental health services available for Syrians in Lebanon (3), and even fewer that cater to women’s needs. To address these challenges, the organisation Tools for Inner Peace has been implementing a yoga program for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in informal tented settlements and community centres in the Beqaa Valley region since 2017. This program supports women to