Lori’s Story

Dec. 20, 2017

I’ve always had a zest for life. I love exploring, learning and engaging with people, and I have always had an open heart; I was the kid in school that all the teachers put the new student next to.

 

And in all my capacity for love of self and others, I struggled. For many years, I couldn’t put a name to it, but as I got older and learned more, I realized that I was dealing with complex childhood trauma. Despite being a loving mother, wife, daughter, and friend, there was always something stirring just beneath the surface and I coped the best I could.  

 

Most of my life I was in a place where I was doing well, but I always seemed to hit a wall. Something would happen in life that triggered me and then I would relapse.  

 

In 2013, I was still working, and was highly functional but I knew I couldn’t sustain it. I was dealing with a lot in my life and felt like things were really starting to bubble up. I decided to start counselling, and that is when I began to unravel. I couldn’t work, my addiction became stronger and I knew deep down something was about to change.

 

With my family’s support, I asked to go to treatment. I knew I needed to take time for myself, without any responsibilities or distractions so that I could heal. At the treatment facility, yoga was a mandatory part of the programming. This is when I first encountered Yoga Outreach.

 

The yoga classes landed with me right away. The teacher was so skillful in guiding everyone to just be as they were,  regardless of what that looked like. We had the option of sitting in a chair, lying on the floor, or standing at the door if we    wanted.  

 

Everything was an invitation, there was so much choice, and there were no expectations of what it was supposed to look like. I remember connecting with the sensations in my body and feeling excited to practice.  

 

Every morning I would get up at 6am and practice alone in a little room on the second floor of the recovery centre (and I am not a morning person). It just felt so good to get up early and practice what I had learned. The time I had to tune into myself was so special, and I became so dedicated to myself

 

Recovery is a long process. There are many layers, and for me, yoga was the key because it took me out of my head and allowed me to be my body. It helped me manage stress, stay present, and sleep better.

 

Because of yoga, I am aware of triggers in my body as they happen, and I can now take a deep breath, step back and respond to situations, rather than react. I am able stay present and take care of myself.

 

I have come to accept and love all of myself completely.  And learning to accept both the darkness and light within myself from a place of love, has allowed me to connect with others, in all conditions, from a place of total acceptance.

 

I am looking forward to bringing the same kind of yoga programming here to my community, and thanks to people like the staff at Yoga Outreach I have been inspired to take trauma-informed yoga training. 

 

A seed was planted with Yoga Outreach that has grown into a tree, and it continues to grow. The branches have spread up and out and the roots have grown deep. It has been a beautiful experience that has touched something so deep in me.  

 

Of course, life has its challenges, but yoga has taught me that I don’t need to escape. Instead, I can be present with what’s here, even if I don’t like it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Outreach’s 2016-2017 Annual Report

Dec. 05, 2017

To download our annual report, simply click on the link.  Annual Report 2016 – 2017

Could trauma-informed yoga benefit drug treatment for youth?

Jul. 19, 2017

Yoga Outreach has been providing trauma-informed yoga classes to justice-involved and at-risk youth for 18 years.

 

Based on the empirical studies that have established trauma-informed yoga as an evidence-based treatment intervention, and the observations of Yoga Outreach teachers, Yoga Outreach submitted a proposal to the Department of Justice to examine the efficacy of trauma-based yoga, and similar mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, as a promising adjunctive treatment intervention for justice involved youth receiving treatment for substance use disorders.

 

This study examines published studies and “grey literature” on both the standard substance use treatment models as well as a small, but growing body of empirical studies investigating the efficacy of trauma-based complementary programs. The literature review also considers the need for gender-responsive and culturally-responsive treatment models that more specifically address the unique needs of female young offenders and Aboriginal young offenders.

What does it mean to hold space?

Jul. 07, 2017

Yoga Outreach has been providing trauma-informed yoga classes to justice-involved and at-risk youth for 18 years.

 

Based on the empirical studies that have established trauma-informed yoga as an evidence-based treatment intervention, and the observations of Yoga Outreach teachers, Yoga Outreach submitted a proposal to the Department of Justice to examine the efficacy of trauma-based yoga, and similar mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, as a promising adjunctive treatment intervention for justice involved youth receiving treatment for substance use disorders.

 

This study examines published studies and “grey literature” on both the standard substance use treatment models as well as a small, but growing body of empirical studies investigating the efficacy of trauma-based complementary programs. The literature review also considers the need for gender-responsive and culturally-responsive treatment models that more specifically address the unique needs of female young offenders and Aboriginal young offenders.

Yoga Outreach to provide trauma-sensitive yoga to women and children fleeing abuse across BC

Jul. 31, 2016

Yoga Outreach and BC Society of Transition Houses launching 5-year  research project called “Reaching Out with Yoga”  funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada that will provide trauma-sensitive yoga programming for women and children in transition houses across BC.

 

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (March 30, 2016) – Domestic violence affects many women and children in BC. Programs that complement Transition House services, such as Reaching Out With Yoga, are an important part of supporting families as they leave their lives behind, and try to start over.

 

Yoga Outreach is non-profit that has been providing weekly yoga programs in various social service facilities, including mental health, addictions, youth centres, prisons, and older adult rehabilitation, for twenty years.

 

“This year marks our 20th anniversary, and Reaching Out with Yoga is huge step towards our goal of removing barriers of access to yoga, and providing community connection to our most vulnerable individuals” says Delanie Dyck, Yoga Outreach’s Executive Director.

 

New Dawn, a facility for women recovering from addictions and violence, has already been receiving Yoga Outreach’s weekly classes since 2005.

 

“It helps our women with symptoms of withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and allows a gentle re-connection to the breath, heart, and mind. It allows for them to feel empowered, and heal.”

 

Yoga Outreach has been providing yoga programs to Burnaby Youth Custody Centre since 1998, and teens have responded positively.

 

“It puts me in a calmer state so I can think more clearly” and “it makes me feel good about myself.”

 

Which is exactly what Yoga Outreach and the BC Society of Transition Houses aims to achieve.

 

Transition and Second Stage House services across BC are the critical safety net for women fleeing violent relationships. Through these programs women and children are able to find the support and safety needed to get back on their feet.

 

Yoga Outreach trains all of their volunteer yoga instructors in trauma-informed teaching approaches in order to provide strengths focused classes for people facing multiple barriers, including addictions, mental health, PTSD, and incarceration. If you would like to be involved, contact Delanie Dyck at Delanie@yogaoutreach.com or 604.385.3891 or visit www.yogaoutreach.com.

 

Media Contact: Delanie Dyck, Executive Director, Yoga Outreach, 604.385.3891

Podcast – Dr. Joanne Baker Executive Director

Jul. 09, 2016

We are super thrilled to have an interview with our ROWY program partner! Dr. Joanne baker, Executive Director fro the BC Society of Transition Houses discusses the research aspects of this project bring yoga to women and children fleeing violence in BC.

 

Listen HERE

 

For more information please visit BC Society of Transition Houses