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!
Developed by Yoga Outreach in 2021 this program is designed to be delivered in partnership with agencies serving survivors. The curriculum is delivered by facilitators with expertise in yoga and trauma recovery in order to ensure that students are well supported throughout the process. If possible we recommend that a staff member from the partnering agency also attend all sessions.
Contact us about booking a series at your agency.
The series explores:
Week 1: Introductions & Exploring the Impacts of Sexual Assault
The first week is primarily about introductions and building a sense of safety and cohesion within the group and with facilitators. It is an opportunity for participants to find points of connection with each other and to introduce some of the core values in the group such as trauma-informed care, inner healing, and embodiment and mindfulness practices.
Week 2: Staying Present – Managing Anxiety, Flashbacks & Dissociation
Following a sexual assault, it is very common for participants to struggle with experiences of high anxiety, intrusive and unwanted reminders of the assault, re-enactment or re-experiencing of body states, sensations, emotions, and reactions to the assault, and periods of numbing, dissociation, and hopelessness. Building on the discussions from the first week, the objective of this week is to further normalize and understand these responses, as well as explore skills to help manage and shift these responses when they are happening.
Week 3: Giving Light and Air to Shame
The feelings of shame that almost always accompany a sexual assault can be one of the most painful, isolative and entrenched impacts of trauma. Deep states of shame flood the nervous system and, like fear, make it extremely difficult to come back into healing states of connection and safety needed for recovery. Even talking about shame can feel overwhelming for many, but as DeYoung (2015) advises, “Shame needs light and air.” Having the experience of shame be witnessed and compassionately held by another person is essential in shifting this relational wound.
Week 4: Reconnecting with Safety, Choice & Power
Sexual assault deeply undermines a person’s sense of safety, power and choice both during the assault and afterward. The feeling of being powerless, trapped, or unable to protect oneself are common. Survivors respond to these feelings within a full range of understandable reactions, from passivity and compliance, to rage and a heightened need for control. Supporting participants to reconnect to a feeling of safety, choice, and personal power both within their own body and within relationships are important aspects of healing.
Week 5: Navigating Relationships & Intimacy
Following a sexual assault, many survivors may struggle with interpersonal relationships with partners, friends, and family. It is, for this reason, many survivors will isolate themselves from connection. Navigating both physical intimacy and emotional intimacy in the form of trust, reliability, and vulnerability may feel difficult and overwhelming in the aftermath of a sexual assault. This group supports participants to identify areas of struggle, and begin to practice new ways of being in relationship.
Week 6: Grieving, Rebuilding & Closing Experience
Grief is a common experience in trauma, as there can be a number of real and felt losses in the aftermath of a sexual assault. Normalizing and making space for grief is important in order to experience the rebuilding process. This group also makes space to explore participants’ feelings about the end of the group, including feelings of hope and loss.
BECOME A FACILITATOR
CONNECT, EMBODY, + EMPOWER™ FACILITATOR LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
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 program is for anyone interested in a holistic (physical, emotional and social) approach to well-being. All bodies are welcome.
To become a Licensed Connect, Embody,+ Empower™ Facilitator, one must meet the following requirements:
Initial fee $850.00, annual licensing fee $550.00/year. Fees are in CDN funds.
Please submit email detailing relevant experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.