Two years ago I was introduced to the wonderful organisation Together Women Project (TWP). I started yoga classes there and after graduating from University decided to start my own business InnerSense Guru to spread yoga and other therapies to as many people as possible!
TWP is a women only centre that provides a rang of services, all under one roof, for vulnerable women who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system in one way or another.The centre has a variety of services available to the women from help with housing, offering counselling, anger management classes to cooking, beauty and dance classes.
I really like TWP’s holistic approach to dealing with problems and helping their women and realised yoga would be a great addition and fit in well at the centre. Often rationalising, thinking and taking about problems and ways to overcome them, although great to help with the practicalities of life can sometimes be overdone to the point it is not helpful. We often forget the impact circumstances have on the body and the importance emotions play in decision making meaning rational decisions can be hard to stick by. Yoga helps us to become aware of the mind’s over activity and the games it can play allowing us accept the emotions we are feeling along with helping to physically realign and reset the body.
With funding from Leeds University I bought yoga mats and employed a yoga instructor to teach at TWP. When the funding ran out I taught the classes voluntarily having over four years of experience of doing yoga. After my degree, no longer living in Leeds I luckily came across another enthusiastic yogi who wanted to volunteer at TWP and gain valuable yoga teaching skills. The regular yoga classes have managed to carry on with volunteers from the LUU Yoga Society.
I really believe yoga is such an amazing tool to be able to offer the women at the centre and so I aim to develop this project. In order to make the project more sustainable and successful I want to raise funds so once again a qualified yoga instructor can take regular classes along side volunteers. I would like to get the mentors who recommend different services at the centre even more behind yoga. I held one staff yoga class for the mentors/ TWP staff so properly informed they could recommend yoga to the women. However, I believe that yoga is about commitment and a process of self-discovery something that cannot be understood in one class. I realised the staff at the centre do a great job but a job that is very challenging mentally and emotionally therefore yoga too would be great for them. I would like to put on a yoga class for the staff and use the profits from the staff class to pay for the women’s classes. This of course will require the staff to commit and be willing to pay. I am trying to raise funds to be used to subsidise the staff class to help stimulate interest to get a 6 week trail yoga staff class going. The funds raised will help put energy into the project; by purchasing equipment and putting on informative workshops this will help to engage both the staff and the centre women in yoga.