Yoga for Women
Yoga for women referred by Threshold Women's Services was the second of our first year's projects funded under the Small Grants Scheme.
The grant enabled Threshold and their teacher Sarah Pailthorpe to deliver three months worth of free weekly yoga classes. Altogether 17 women attended one or more of the sessions - eight of them regularly.
Many of the women who attended normally experience barriers when trying to access yoga. This includes cost, feeling overwhelmed by large groups, worrying that their physical disability will hold them back, or that meditation will be unsuitable/triggering for their PTSD. Threshold helped remove these barriers for those attending by subsidising the cost of the yoga with the grant, keeping the class size small and intimate in a familiar setting, teaching a gentle style of yoga that was suitable for all abilities and by having a teacher with experience of working in mental health and working in a trauma-informed way.
Feedback from the classes was extremely positive:
"It's the best part of my week!".
Asked to contrast how they felt before and after the classes, one woman responded:
Before: "Anxious, stressed, tired and unsupported".
After: "Relaxed, hopeful ,safer, connected, supported and calmer."
Threshold Women's Services provides support to women with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, self-harm, post-traumatic stress, chronic low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, parenting issues, birth trauma and perinatal depression. Many of the women have past or current experience of abuse or violence; most living on low incomes. Threshold believe that women-only services deliver better outcomes for women, which have wider societal and economic impacts. Increased confidence and holistic support offered enables women to better support their selves, their families and improve outcomes for their children.
Starting in April for an initial three month period, yoga teacher Sarah Pailthrope will deliver classes to users of Threshold Women's Services.
Sarah started practicing yoga in 2006, graduating from the 2 year, 500 hour Vajrasati Teacher Training in May 2015. Before teaching yoga, she was a support worker for asylum seekers and refugees, until around the time of graduating, she decided to take a leap and become a full time yoga teacher. Since then, Sarah has had the privilege of teaching many different people from all walks of life. She believes in bringing the benefits of yoga to the whole community and has been fortunate enough to have had many opportunities to do so.
For more information visit her website: www.yogadojo.co.uk