Case studies and Media


Ourmala exists to help refugees and asylum-seekers recover from the atrocities they have experienced and rebuild their lives. Names have been changed to protect identities.


Rose*, one of Ourmala’s students, has been coming to class for a year and a half. In her twenties now, she was forced into prostitution in her African home country when she was a young teenager. She was raped multiple times and, when she was 16, was trafficked to England. Rose was very shy at first. It took weeks before she would speak to her fellow yoga students, though she took to yoga practice immediately. She is a lot more confident now, loves a chat with her friends at Ourmala and is committed to her studies, determined not to let her past dictate her future.

“Yoga gives me hope. It’s horrible sometimes—the memories, when I can’t sleep, or suddenly in the middle of the day—but yoga helps me leave the past behind. It gives me a peace deep inside and I feel safe, and stronger. Thank you for supporting me and helping me to believe in myself.”Rose



Mehret*, a refugee from Eritrea, has been separated from her children and husband since she fled for her life. There is a dictatorship in Eritrea; torture, arbitrary detention and severe restrictions on freedom of expression are routine, while military conscription is mandatory but has no end date. Mehret has lost two children and her husband to war. Despite restricted mobility and pain in her body, she is dedicated to her yoga practice.

“I miss my children and husband and I am lonely. My body hurts. But yoga helps me relax from stress, and sleep. My body pain all goes and I feel more positive. The people are friendly; we are friends. I can touch my toes now. Never before!”Mehret

Media Features

A selection of features on Ourmala.
Click on each to read more.


She gains her strength and ability through Yoga and English classes

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