REACHING OUT WITH YOGA: TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED VIOLENCE (SESSION D)
Reaching Out with Yoga (ROWY) is a 5 year research project (2016-21) investigating the potential health and well-being benefits of trauma-informed yoga for women and their children who have experienced violence.
This community-based project is currently taking place in transition houses (shelters for women and children fleeing violence) across British Columbia, Canada, and is a partnership between the BC Society of Transition Houses and Yoga Outreach.
Trauma-informed yoga adapts traditional yoga techniques to make it more safe and accessible for those with trauma histories. Its alignment with trauma-informed practice is manifested in its focus on psychological and physical safety, choice and empowerment for its practitioners. Research indicates that trauma-informed yoga has positive effects on symptoms of trauma such as anxiety, poor sleep, hypervigilance and excessive rumination. However, to date there has been very little research on its effects for women and children who have experienced violence.
In this session, trauma-informed yoga will be described and its potential benefits explained. It will include the opportunity to observe and practice some trauma-informed yoga poses/postures (which require no special clothing, no pre-existing skills and can be done whilst seated).
The methodology of taking trauma-informed yoga into transition houses for women and children will be outlined. Successes and obstacles along the way will be shared for those interested in establishing trauma-informed programs. Research findings from the project so far will provide some insight to the experience of trauma-informed yoga for those fleeing violence and staying in transition houses.