This month, CRP is hosting Bella Hancock, an experienced yoga instructor, from Ireland. Bella is leading intensive yoga workshops for men, women, teens, and children to address psychosocial issues and promote mindfulness and wellness. Programs such as this can help members of our community better manage the daily effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

“The practice will be very gentle,” Bella said. “It will keep coming back to how you feel. The goal is to become aware of the body-mind connection because trauma is very physiological. When you physically strengthen your body, you then feel more centered in your daily life. When you face a stressful situation, you can handle it from a more centered place.”

Bella has studied the connection between trauma and yoga, particularly how yoga can mitigate the effects of PTSD, such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression. Through her work, Bella hopes to give participants a sense of peace and control. “People often feel immobilized in their daily lives,” Bella said. “They have arrived to a country where they are forbidden to work and are unable to support themselves and their families. Yoga can help people feel less powerless in the face of these daily challenges.”

Bella is joined by Alex Reisdorfer, a photographer who is documenting the month-long project. “I want to capture the energy,” Alex said. “I want to convey a connection with this place and the problems these people face.”

Although Bella and Alex will be leaving in a few weeks, they will train interested participants to become yoga instructors in order to continue the project. CRP hopes to incorporate yoga and dance into our regular programming to improve the physical and psychological well-being of members of our community. We are so thankful for Bella and Alex’s hard work and meaningful contribution to CRP!