The Connect, Embody + Empower program is designed for women, non-binary, trans, and 2 spirit people, ages 19 and older, who are survivors of sexual assault. This 6-week program consists of weekly beginners trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices, journaling prompts, readings and podcasts, accompanied by an online interactive support circle with a focus on healing, growth, and recovery. This group is for anyone interested in a holistic (physical, emotional and social) approach to well-being. All bodies are welcome!
This will not be a therapeutic processing space, sharing of trauma stories will not be part of the program. This will be an educational space dedicated to building skills to support resilience and well-being.
Participants are required to have the following:
- a therapist or resource person who will act as a support person throughout the duration of the series and agree to have their contact information shared with Yoga Outreach
The cohort will be limited to 12 participants. Resources to explore between sessions will be offered for your home practice. These include a chair or mat practice to explore as many times as you like. You will also receive some additional resources including music, podcasts and journal prompts. You can choose to engage with these as much or as little as you like.
Facilitator: Laurel MacKay M.Ed, CCC (She/Her)
Laurel MacKay is a proud mother of two amazing young womxn, a counsellor, and yoga teacher. Her ancestors are from Scotland, Ireland and Finland and her family has lived in Canada for three generations. Laurel currently works at a local high school as a Youth and Family Counsellor. She has had the privilege of living and working on the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking people of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, for the past 25 years. She is a fierce advocate for the students and families she works with and challenges the outdated systems we exist in, any chance she gets. Before being in schools, Laurel worked in the private and public sectors within mental health, addictions and corrections as a mental health coordinator, social worker, and counsellor. Laurel believes connection is the most important gift we can offer one another and yoga can assist us in connecting with ourselves, each other and the world around us. When not working she can be found hiking, reading, attending or teaching yoga classes, cuddling with her dogs, or playing her gong.
Facilitator: Adesola Omojokun (She/Her)
Desi is a Therapeutic Yoga Teacher and Mental Health Worker, born and raised in London, UK. She relocated to British Columbia in the summer of 2016 and now resides on the unceded, ancestral land of the Kwikwetlem First Nation people. In 2015, shortly after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science, Desi was first introduced to yoga. Since then, she has pursued it with great passion, integrating the ancient teachings into her daily life both personally and professionally; by maintaining a regular personal practice in addition to completing her 240Hr YTT (VSOHA), 300Hr Yoga Therapy Training (VSOHA) and Yoga Outreach Core Training™.
Desi is fascinated by the way in which yoga and yoga therapy inherently incorporates the blending of Eastern philosophical principles and our understanding of the human mind and body and it’s response to stress and trauma. She is motivated by empathy and connection and teaches with the intention to empower individuals and support them in realising their highest potential. To do so, Desi combines her yoga training with her educational background, her professional experience as a mental healthcare worker – currently working for PHSA with individuals with eating disorders and finally; her experience as a volunteer SMART Facilitator for Vancouver Coastal Health, supporting individuals recovering from addiction.