Please support our crowd funding initiative
We are raising funds to sustain a trauma informed yoga therapy project for survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking & domestic violence in Cardiff.
Unfortunately in times of austerity with budgets and resources being squeezed, service providers opt for short term, solution focused treatments that compromise relationship, sustainability and real change.
Due to such limitations, we are crowd funding through the Sattva Gaia association to run a trauma informed yoga therapy project for female survivors of sexual violence, domestic abuse and human trafficking.
Yoga is a sophisticated psycho-spiritual tool and liberation practice, as such it deserves recognition on par with other therapeutic modalities.
Yoga can serve social groups & client populations marginalised by conventional mental health services and the yoga industrial complex.
¨“Following my own lead”
¨“Restoring my own worth”
¨“Listening to myself”
¨“Connecting to myself”
In April 2018, a proposal was forwarded to South Wales police to fund a trauma informed yoga therapy project for survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking & domestic violence. We (myself and the women's charity) received funds for a creche, transport costs, my fees and clinical supervision.
Sadly after 4 months, this project was scraped. However, the feedback that the women gave demonstrated the effectiveness of the project. One participant said "without sounding overly dramatic, yoga has literally saved my life." This statement goes to show that money needs to be allocated for long term therapeutic initiatives. Unfortunately with increasing austerity, charities are competing with each other for smaller and smaller pots of funding. Service providers are responding to crisis in a crisis mode. The little money that is available goes to solution focused, short term projects. This is akin to a band aid or a cover up; at worst it re-traumatizes
Once a recovery process is set up, it should not be time limited, as trust is placed in the service provider, trauma work takes time and the rug should not be pulled from under someone's feet. This is how re-traumatisation and disempowerment happens.
We are therefore committed to providing stability and will resume our efforts when the pandemic has settled down, we are aiming for September 2021. So far we have raised £658 and will set up another crowdfunding page for the public to donate into.
How does yoga therapy help?
Trauma survivors often describe feeling a lack of safety within their bodies. Memories of traumatic events become encoded non-verbally. The main goal is to stabilise and reduce distress through the nervous system (fragmentation, polarisation & dissociation) and develop resilience and self love.
How do we do this?
Normalise relaxation and rest. Promote feelings of safety to offset the memory of internalised threat to the body mind.
Re organisie vayu-prana in the body, which supports grounding, centering and connectivity. Build trust in feeling and sensation in the body. Reduce suffering: bring down internal gaslighting, self -sabotage and self- hatred.
Restore agni (the digestive fire) this brings down toxic levels of adrenaline and cortisol by means of stimulating the vagus pathway.
Improve agency & empower. clearing violent beliefs and self harming cognitive patterns that have been internalised in the psyche.
Support women to process memory and thoughts very slowly with out over whelm or flooding.
Reverse isolation. Promote connection with others, this builds dignity and reduces toxic shame.
Hold space with awareness of how sexual harm intersects with race-based trauma, intergenerational colonial trauma, race based weathering and micro aggressions. Uplift identity, self worth and belonging.
Feedback from the women who attended the yoga therapy sessions?
“these sessions have helped me more than anything, they are way better than anti-depressants or alcohol, they stopped me feeling alone or crazy. ”
“I am accepted for who I am, there is so much trust and non judgement in the room."
I have better self esteem, more energy and feel myself again”
"These sessions have helped me so much to deal with my trauma. My nightmares are beginning to stop."
"Everyone understands each other, we have all gone through similar experiences, it's a safe space and I feel connected to other women.
"Sophia is kind and understanding and I feel good with her .”