YogaHOPE extends healing practice to those who need it most
After yoga served as her personal lifeline through severe depression, Sue Jones has devoted her career to extending that lifeline to women who might not otherwise have access to it.
Jones’ yogaHOPE is a nonprofit organization that brings yoga to those who wouldn't otherwise have access, and offers yoga as a source of healing from emotional trauma. The practice of yoga has been shown to produce positive motivational change by helping women regain their vital center of energy, satisfaction and stability, according to yogaHOPE’s web site.
The Fetzer Institute is teaming with yogaHOPE to expand and formalize its Trauma-Informed Mind Body (TIMBo™) program to serve greater numbers of women in crisis, including those at MCI-Framingham (Massachusetts’ only women’s prison) and in temporary camps in Haiti, where families have been languishing since the devastating earthquake of January 2010. While her practice is currently unique, Jones predicts a shift in the use of yoga for therapy as its adoption continues to spread.
"We’re going to reach a critical mass,” Jones told an interviewer with Elephant Journal, an online publication. “These yoga practitioners who are also social workers, therapists, and people who work with healing populations or at-risk populations, will personally experience how yoga creates shifts in the way they see themselves and how they interact with the world.”
The Boston-based yogaHOPE brings rehabilitative mind-body programming to women in acute crisis or life transition. Building self-esteem through yoga practice helps them establish independence from domestic violence, self-sufficiency from homelessness, recovery from drug addiction, and strength dealing women with traumas brought about through imprisonment, natural disaster or political conflict.
In each project, the yogaHOPE team has collected rich data on the self-perceptions of the women who participated, and this Fetzer project will more fully incorporate consciousness of the themes of love and forgiveness into their work.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Education Professions.