Yoga For Ukrainian Refugees
Alla and Dorota set up yoga sessions for Ukrainian refugees.
Date: 21 June 2023 Author: Energise Me
A kundalini class, hosted by Alla for Ukrainian refugees, made such an impact on four women’s lives that they have stepped forward to become instructors themselves. This is the story of how one person can make a difference.
Four Ukrainian women attended Alla’s kundalini yoga sessions when they arrived in Hampshire after the war in their home country began. Participating in these classes helped them gain confidence and integrate into a new community. Experiencing the positive benefits on their mental health, these women approached Alla wanting to instruct yoga too. Hoping that they could help others in the same way.
Alla turned to Energise Me asking to be pointed in the right direction for funding opportunities. However, we saw an opportunity to stick to our values and the We Can Be Active strategy, and funded three of these ladies’ kundalini yoga instructing qualification ourselves.
Based off the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) syllabus, the course was tailored to the needs of these women and those they’d be teaching in the future. So, Liudmyla, Helen and Olga signed up to 6 modules with a specific focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Halfway through their 8-month training programme, we got in touch with Olga and Liudmyla to find out how they were getting on.
As a young Mum, Olga had a year of absence from activities and felt distant from her community. Taking part in this training has kept her inspired and disciplined.
Her hope after this training is to bring kundalini classes to displaced individuals.
Liudmyla has already taught 2 sessions in her training and received great feedback. Her confidence has grown so much, that she even did one class in English! She’s excited to open the scope for more people to participate in kundalini yoga this way and she’s now looking for a space in Winchester.
She is excited to provide a class for Ukrainians in her local community so that they can experience the same growth and renewal she has.
Alyona attended Alla’s classes and was keen to instruct kundalini yoga too. She’s now being funded by the KRI to receive her qualification.
During the original sessions, Alyona saw a huge change in her psychological and mental state. Before, she used to swing back into traumatic memories. Now she can control those more easily. Her interest in kundalini yoga was solidified after she took a break from her daily practices. Quickly, Alyona noticed her mood swings and bad memories came back.
After 20 days of training, Alyona feels like she’s improving her natural resources. She feels more energetic and feels more mental strength to hold herself together and carry on.
In June, Alyona is collaborating with another Ukrainian refugee to host a class in a Summer Solstice Festival. She is excited to provide a class for Ukrainians in her local community so that they can experience the same growth and renewal she has.
This story is a reminder to us all that one person can have a huge impact on others, and it doesn’t stop there. Alyona saw a gap in the accessibility of the governing body’s available syllabuses – there wasn’t one in Ukrainian. She has since contacted the KRI and has volunteered to translate it. This will open a whole new door for others to step through.
What started out as one act has now rippled into plenty, and who knows where else it might reach! Bold leaders are the foundation of opportunity and change. And we can’t wait to see what Alyona, Liudmyla, Helen and Olga do once they’ve been awarded their qualification.
Happy International Day of Yoga!