As I was weeding through emails tonight, I came across one from Diane Ferraro. Her email touched my heart. As a survivor of domestic violence – and someone who has found such significant healing and peace through yoga – I knew I had to share her message with y’all.
LITTLE FLOWER YOGA JOINS NATIONWIDE YOGATHON Raising Awareness and Prevention Efforts around Domestic Violence
April 29, 2011 New York, NY – Little Flower Yoga–a premiere resource for yoga practitioners committed to serving children and families–is teaming up with Karma Krew, a volunteer-based non-profit organization, to raise awareness and prevention around domestic violence by participating in the “3rd Annual Peace by Peace Yogathon,” starting June 1, 2011.
Little Flower Yoga advocates for healthier lifestyles for children and their families by bringing yoga and mindfulness practices to classrooms, professional development trainings, and workshops reaching more than 500 children each week here in NY, and many more through an international team of yoga practitioners. Little Flower Yoga is raising funds through their participation in the Yogathon to support Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit organization providing domestic violence victims and their children with comprehensive services including education and awareness-building initiatives, clinical and legal services, economic empowerment programs, and shelter.
The impact on victims of domestic violence is far-reaching. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is considered a significant public health problem in the United States as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 Children are the most vulnerable casualties among this traumatized demographic of domestic violence victims, and often the hardest to reach. According to Futures Without Violence (formally Family Violence Prevention Fund), 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred. And, according to the same organization, in just one twenty-four hour period in 2010, 20,406 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional living program.2
“Parents and children who have suffered abuse have often had their spirit battered along with their bodies, and rebuilding their sense of trust, self-worth and capacity for joy is a crucial component of their recovery,” says Jennifer Cohen Harper, founder of Little Flower Yoga. “Yoga can be a wonderful gift to those who are recovering from abuse, and Little Flower Yoga is honored to partner with Sanctuary for Families to offer adults and children classes that they otherwise would not have access to.”
Yoga is widely credited for effectively reducing stress, improving concentration skills, and developing a healthy and holistic approach for personal development.
By offering yoga to children, Little Flower Yoga is providing a resource that children can use to help them as they navigate through some of the most challenging developmental stages they will ever face, and a tool they can access for the rest of their lives.
Yoga teachers and studio owners can sign up as ambassadors and hosts by May 1; yoga students may join the cause starting May 1st. Participation is simple and as a community we can make a tremendous impact in the lives of domestic violence survivors.