Hundreds of yoga studios and fitness centers across the country will hold trauma-informed classes for survivors and their supporters on Shine Your Light Yoga Day 2020 on Dec. 12, including YogaHotDish of North Oaks and Arden Hills.

YogaHotDish will offer two trauma-informed yoga classes via Zoom Saturday, Dec. 12. Weather permitting, there will also be an outdoor in-person class with propane heaters. The suggestion donation is $12-15 per class. All proceeds will benefit the Take Back the Night Foundation.

YogaHotDish founder Shaila Cunningham, a 20-year veteran of the yoga business, has fielded a multitude of requests to hold classes for various causes. "I was impressed with Take Back the Night, as they took the time to research the kind of yoga I offer and ascertain that it is a good fit with their trauma-informed guidelines,” Cunningham said. “There are as many kinds of trauma and stress as there are people; that said, we can all use a common set of yoga tools to better wire the body and brain for healing and transformation."

Since the 1970s, Take Back the Night (TBTN) has supported survivors of sexual trauma and domestic abuse. It is the oldest international movement fighting to end sexual violence in all its forms. Formed in 1999, the TBTN foundation is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Katie Koestner, the first survivor to speak out nationally and publicly as the victim of “date” (as opposed to “stranger”) rape, brought together activists and longstanding participants in TBTN events to create the foundation. TBTN has reached more than 10 million people at 800 colleges and communities across the U.S. and in more than 30 countries with its initiatives and evidence-based educational programming.  

The United Nations Population Fund roughly estimates that there has been a 20% rise in intimate partner violence alone around the world since the start of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. That equates to 15 million additional cases in just the last few months.

On Dec. 12, TBTN invites communities across the country to show their support and take part in a trauma-informed yoga class at their nearest participating studio or fitness center. All proceeds from the event support TBTN’s programs and initiatives, such as the Respect My Red educational program on healthy relationships.

At a time when our communities are in tremendous need of healing and restoration, trauma-informed yoga offers a powerful opportunity for individuals and communities to come together in a safe, welcoming atmosphere to facilitate recovery. Yoga practice teaches us we cannot always control what happens outside of ourselves or in our immediate environments. However, we can control being mindful of ourselves, our bodies, our breath, our thoughts and our surroundings. Little by little, with dedicated practice, we can start to truly grasp our inner strength and connect with others to affect positive social change, one breath at a time.

For more information about the National Shine Your Light Yoga Festival 2020 or the TBTN foundation, visit the takebackthenight.org. You can also find a list of participating studios and fitness centers at takebackthenight.org/yoga. To register for Yoga Hot Dish's classes, visit yogahotdish.com.

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