Yoga Journal - - 2018 GOOD KARMA AWARDS -

? YOGA JOUR­NAL: What makes Y4C unique?

KATHRYN THOMAS: Through our pro­grams, we col­lect both quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive data used for re­search at Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity. This in­cludes mea­sur­ing self-com­pas­sion, anx­i­ety, post-trau­matic growth, sleep, well­ness, and men­tal health be­fore and af­ter our pro­gram­ming. The im­pact shown through the data has led to our pro­grams be­ing used in court sen­tenc­ing. Fourth Cir­cuit judges are now sen­tenc­ing in­di­vid­u­als to Yoga 4 Change pro­gram­ming, like the way they sen­tence in­di­vid­u­als to anger man­age­ment or do­mes­tic vi­o­lence preven­tion pro­grams. ? YJ: How did this part­ner­ship with Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity get started?

KT: I met re­searcher Danielle Rousseau through work with the Yoga Ser­vice Coun­cil. We en­joyed work­ing to­gether and hoped to one day do a re­search eval­u­a­tion of Yoga 4 Change. Once we formed a part­ner­ship, we were able to se­cure fund­ing for the study. ? YJ: What does heal­ing look like at Y4C?

KT: There was a woman who came into one of our classes with scars from her wrists to her el­bows. She breathed with us and did one Up­ward-Fac­ing Dog, and she stood up and said, “Oh, my God. I feel my hips. I’ve never felt my hips.” I came to learn she was in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing. She had so much trauma in her life, and she’d blocked off sen­sa­tion as a cop­ing tech­nique. Through yoga, she was able to feel her body in a new and pos­i­tive way—that’s why we do this.

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