“Prana burns as fire : he is the sun;
he is the beautiful rain god; he is the wind;
He is the earth, matter, god.
He is being and non-being and what is immortal”
YOGA MANDALA PROJECT: bringing yoga and TRE (trauma release work) to people displaced by war and conflict.
For regular updates about the project and related work go to Yoga peace Mandala Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YogaMandalaProject/
or website www.yogamandalaproject.org
Yoga classes and training programmes for teachers and volunteers in the Middle East, greece and Ireland.
Some of the story:
In 2015-2017 Bella Hancock and myself have volunteered at Collateral repair Project in Amman (Jordan) where there is a ongoing yoga programme coordinated by Rula Wardeh.
Our time at CRP has involved offering a variety of classes, as well as a training:
Women's yoga and dance. These women's classes were extremely relaxed, with lots of laughs and sharing.
children's yoga - lots of play, fun and chaos!
Men's yoga - they loved the meditation and breathing practices.
One-to-one yoga therapy sessions
in depth "foundation in yoga studies" with a small group (25 hours)
trauma sensitive yoga training for local yoga teachers who will volunteer at CRP.
CRP is a wonderful project, which runs classes for the refugee community: e.g. english, art for kids, yoga, women's groups, TRE (trauma release). They also provide food tokens, heaters, cookers, blankets, tolietries and other household supplies. They presently support around 300 families. Many families are scraping by with bare essentials, having lost everything when they left their homelands. They cannot work, the children cannot go to school: They don't have funds for the small costs of books and uniforms. CRP has just recently been awarded a education grant, which will now help with many such cost for school age children. These people were professionals (doctor, university lecturer, teacher, lawyer), and now are in limbo, waiting to be resettled. CRP is a lifeline, helping with their daily life essentials as well as giving them personal tools to help them with this difficult time.
The yoga is of great value. One woman said ' it is the only time i have for myself, where i can relax". People are stressed and have lost their role in life. Yoga gives them a chance to relax their minds, which are often filled with the trauma and grief from their past, or the stress of their unpredictable lives. Gentle yoga helps them to release the shock and trauma in their bodies, gives them a chance to relax, let go, put down their troubles for a while. They can often feel stuck and inactive, so yoga helps them to be active, to exercise, a well known essential to help people deal with stress and depression.
CRP runs a women's leadership programme, where some of our students facilitate simple relaxation sessions. One of our students, Sameera Quatony, is now a trained yoga teacher herself and is running classes at the centre and for her friends, and is translating for other yoga teachers there.
We are proud and honoured to have been part of such an beautiful project.
To find out more about CRP, or make a donation visit www.collateralrepairproject.org
75 Health conditions benefitted by Yoga Therapy and supporting research articles.
"The Scientific Basis of Yoga Therapy by Timothy McCall Download here.
Reasons to squat. For all those students who've persevered with squats my yoga classes - well done and here's why!
Yoga Therapy introductory video (Yoga Campus, London) click here
Introduction to movement meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blc4KffaT_s
Pregnancy sun salute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0lLnN0rDVQ
Pregnancy warrior pose supported by the wall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqaEmFQ_BZA
Shoulder tension tamer
Simple movements you can do while at your computer
1. Inhale slowly, lift your shoulders forwards, then up. Exhale and slowly draw them back and down. Repeat for 4 breaths, then change direction.
2. Bring your hands behind your back, clasp your hands, palms together. Inhale, roll your shoulders back, exhale and pull hands down slowly. Repeat 4x.
3. Bring your arms to the front and clasp the elbows. Slowly inhale lift them as high as possible, and lower with you exhale. Keep you head still!
4. Relax your arms down. Exhale and lower your head. Slowly inhale and rotate the head, bringing the right ear to the shoulder. Hold for a moment. Exhale lower in down again. Repeat on the other side. 4 x each side.
5. Gazing straight ahead, slowly draw little circles with your nose.
6. Finally open a window and draw in a few deep breaths of fresh air!
Listings of classes and retreats worldwide: http://yogafinder.com/
Yoga teacher training, Yoga Therapy training, specialist trainings and workshops in all aspects of yoga. www.yogacampus.com
Yoga Nidra Network
Free downloads of nidras and listings of yoga nidra teachers and events.
Listings of yoga teachers and events to support and nurture all stages and cycles of women's lives.
Class for women and children at CRP
Sharing after a women's womb yoga class.
No-one wanted to leave!
The trainees with myself, Bella and Rula (local yoga teacher and their mentor) at her studio in Amman after a training session.