At SYJ, we ardently believe that the gift of yoga should be available for everyone who chooses to practice it. That’s why, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we partnered with The Rowan Center, a sexual assault resource agency in Stamford.
During the month, SYJ teacher Vicky Cook and SYJ teacher and studio manager BK Kelly taught weekly virtual classes for the Rowan Center, as well as an outdoor benefit class held at Weed Beach in Darien.
“Project SYJ’s mission is to blur the boundary lines surrounding our strong and beloved community. Its mission is to extend the idea of family to mean every single being, not just those that walk through the studio doors or join us for class online,” says BK.
“In the same way we whole-heartedly support and encourage each other at the studio, I want us to have the opportunity to do so for those out there in the world beyond our immediate community of yogis,” she adds.
Humans taking care of humans
The Rowan Center focuses on providing counseling and support services to victims of sexual assault and they use community-wide education programs as their weapon of choice in the larger battle that they are fighting to eliminate sexual violence altogether.
“I really wanted to collaborate with the Rowan Center because I think they are an amazing team of humans,” says BK. “They are humans who take care of other humans — the most important kind.”
“When they approached SYJ about the Sexual Assault Awareness Month event, we were more than happy to join the fight wielding, of course, the practicing of yoga,” she adds. “The event ended up being such a powerful experience — a community gathering together outdoors to sync up heart beats and breath in order to shine light all over this dark topic.”
Healing trauma through yoga
Vicky, who has extensive experience and training in teaching trauma-informed yoga, consistently supports Project SYJ’s work because she knows the value of yoga as a healing modality first hand.
“Yoga has been a part of healing my own trauma and was the reason I did my first teacher training,” she says. “Many don’t realize it, but we can carry unprocessed trauma in our bodies, the ability to process trauma is not only intellectual and emotional, it is deeply physical. The mind, body connection we experience in yoga allows us another way to participate in our own healing.”
How you can support Project SYJ
Seva, or selfless service, is a traditional yogic principle. As yogis, it is our responsibility to take the richness that we cultivate within ourselves off the mat and into the world.
“Project SYJ has allowed me to be of service, to feel empowered in my own life through working with a community that has been a big part of my own healing,” says Vicky. “Every time I am given the opportunity to teach to any community I recognize it also keeps me in the process of my own learning, being a student allows me to be an even better teacher.”
The way in which the SYJ community can continue enabling the work of Project SYJ is by tapping into our hearts and really taking a look at ourselves from an abundance mindset so that we can see how much we have to offer to the world — a genuine smile, kind words, an able body, or other plentiful resources that others are in need of.
So, do that— notice your abundance — and then just keep a look out for the opportunities we present to give and share yourself with others.
If one of our Project SYJ projects speaks to something in line with your heart and how you want to share your abundance, we encourage you to reach out and participate in any capacity.