Yoga for Grenfell Tower community: a special project

Emily BrettLatest news

Earlier this year, OURMALA delivered a special yoga project for the community in North Kensington affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, including yoga for survivors and bereaved families. Commissioned by the NHS, the results were extremely positive and we are now working on getting yoga in place for the community longer-term.

You may know that OURMALA has been delivering specialist yoga classes for people seeking international protection in the UK, such as refugees, since 2011. You may not know that we also provide high quality yoga classes in workplaces across London and for the NHS, to help fund our free yoga classes for refugees. This project for the Grenfell Tower community is a good example.

Nearly two years after the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14th 2017, which caused 72 deaths, people in the community had been asking for yoga. In order for the NHS to fund a service, there needs to be sufficient evidence of a service’s impact and so OURMALA was selected to deliver a pilot project of yoga courses for six different groups. I was leading our yoga teaching team and it was an honour to work with everyone involved.

The point of the project was to ascertain whether people in the community wanted yoga as part of their care package longer-term and provide robust evidence so that if they did, the NHS would be able to fund it.

The community does want more yoga and we are now working closely with the NHS to try and get this in place asap.

We adapted our usual OURMALA yoga programme so it was most suitable for the Grenfell Tower community, including ‘Breath Body Mind’ techniques from by Dr Patricia Gerbarg and Dr Richard P. Brown, who are well known for their work with 9/11 survivors amongst others. They invited me out to the US earlier this year so I could access their training before working on this special project and have been incredibly supportive of OURMALA’s work.

I will be writing more about this work in due course, with a special focus on the actual yoga and the significance of the results. For now, if you are at all interested in this special project, I would really encourage you to have a look at the impact report.

Whilst it might sound a bit dry, the inside is far from that! You will learn about OURMALA’s approach and the report also spotlights the voices of many people who took part in the yoga as well as showing data from quantitative analysis.

More soon and my deepest wish for all those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy is that justice is served for each and every one of you and that peace of mind and heart is yours – as this is your right too.

Read report here

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