A new program that aims to help heal women who have experienced domestic violence through yoga is still looking for a few more teachers.
Yoga Outreach will be offering weekly, onsite trauma-informed yoga classes for women accessing Transition House services; but more volunteers are needed to be trained before it can start.
Yoga Outreach executive director Delanie Dyck said they wanted to have yoga teachers trained last fall but didn’t get anyone registered. They have four confirmed so far but would like 10-12 in total.
“We are really hoping to get as many people as possible to get a wide volunteer pool to draw from. It is important in the context of the project that we are working on,” she explained.
“It is a five-year research project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is specifically looking at research outcomes of trauma-informed yoga for women and children who have experienced violence. As part of that, we need people to complete training which goes into that trauma informed practice and also best practices around women and children who have experienced trauma. Smithers is one of our phase one sites. They [NSDP] applied to be a site for the project for the next year so that is why we are pushing to start.”
Joanne Baker, executive director of the BC Society of Transition Houses, said this is an important program.
“What we know is that when women have experienced violence from an intimate partner, this can result in trauma. The idea of the program is to see if yoga that is trauma informed can help those women recover and heal from the symptoms the trauma causes.”
They are currently into year three of five of the research project, and then the Northern Society of Domestic Peace will evaluate whether or not to keep offering the program after that.
The program will start once enough teachers are trained.
“We would want every community to have access to a program like this. We are particularly keen on communities like Smithers in the North that can sometimes be left out of opportunities that might be more frequently available in bigger cities,” Baker added.
Training for yoga teachers runs from March 9-11 at Full Circle. The session costs $360 for those interested. It is eligible for Yoga Alliance continuing education credits. After six months of volunteering, teachers can apply for reimbursement for the cost of the session.