OUR APPROACH TO YOGA
This is yoga outside the box – for wellbeing, connection and freedom
Our approach to yoga integrates the traditional practices of hatha yoga asana, meditation, pranayama and philosophy, with contemporary somatic and therapeutic movement practices such as dance movement therapy, somatic-based trauma therapy, Body Mind Centering, and Continuum Movement.
As well as the depths of yoga as a path of personal transformation, we draw on the latest teachings and research in trauma-informed practice, community and international development, social work, science and somatics – and integrate it all in a way that is accessible, relevant and transformative in the day-to-day lives of all kinds of people in all kinds of places.
Recent research indicates that if you are teaching yoga, you will be teaching people who are survivors of trauma. Trauma-informed yoga acknowledges the neurological impacts of trauma (physical, emotional, psychological, complex), and the high instances of survivors experiencing a disconnection from their physical bodies. This approach to yoga is people-centred and explorative – the focus is on what is felt, noticing the sensations, and learning to make choices that begin to rebuild trust between body and mind.
COMMUNITY BASED YOGA
Much of modern yoga teaching exists within commercial yoga studios. However, the social and economic capital required to access a modern yoga studio inadvertently excludes a large percentage of the population, and classes are often not suitable for people with different needs and backgrounds. Inclusive and community-based yoga practices aim to broaden access to yoga and its benefits by:
- ensuring yoga teachers are knowledgeable and skilled in foundational community work principles and practices, such as culturally responsive practice, participatory and strengths-based approaches;
- offering classes and programs in accessible, affordable and culturally responsive spaces.
The word somatic means ‘of or relating to the living body’. In the context of movement and body-based therapies, somatics generally refers to an approach that is based in a conscious awareness of the inner sensations and felt experience of the body. These practices add a richness to the practice of yoga by offering new ways to connect powerfully and consciously with the body. We are able to remember, restore, and cultivate this primary relationship for wholeness and wellbeing.
A trauma-informed or community based yoga program might look like:
- Integrating trauma-informed principles into your general studio classes
- A free 6-week program for women from refugee backgrounds at a migrant support service
- A weekly donation-based community class at your local yoga studio
- A volunteer yoga teacher in a refugee camp in Greece or a women’s centre in Nepal
- A yoga and body image program for teens at a school in a disadvantaged neighbourhood
- A yoga-based self-care workshop for staff at a domestic violence agency
- A Yoga for Humankind-funded local community yoga teacher in a small village in Indonesia
- A community health centre-funded drop-in yoga program for mental health consumers
Our approach to yoga means there is something for everyone:
- Simple, practical tools for everyday wellbeing
- Powerful practices and techniques for personal transformation and leadership
- A richness of ideas, philosophy and theory from yoga and spirituality, to social justice, science & beyond
- Inspiration and practical guidance for making your own contribution to our beautiful world
- Worldwide community, seva (selfless service) and heart