Yoga Treatment for Refugee Torture and Trauma Survivors with Danielle Begg

Danielle Begg is the Co-Founder of the Refugee Yoga Project, Founder/CEO of the Yoga Impact Charity and has overseen the delivery of over 300 trauma sensitive yoga classes in nine locations.

In this presentation, Danielle will discuss the results of a recent evaluation of a refugee yoga program conducted by the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.

You will learn – 
The impact of trauma on refugees 
Evidence based research describing the ways yoga can improve the physical, psychological and interpersonal health of refugees healing from torture and trauma 
Core principles for tailoring classes to ensure suitability for refugee participants 
Yoga practices utilised in the Refugee Yoga Project for improving Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression symptomatology 

The aims of the evaluation of the refugee yoga program were to: 
1. Assess the feasibility and acceptability of a yoga group program for refugee participants; 
2. Identify possible physiological, psychological and interpersonal benefits; and 
3. Explore counsellor and participant attitudes and experiences. 

The research was carried out with four client groups including: a mixed group of Arabic speakers, Tamil, Bhutanese and Mandaean clients. 
Danielle will discuss her experiences with tailoring the yoga program and the evaluation to participants with a range of backgrounds, physical abilities and literacy levels. She will also discuss both quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the yoga program. 

Preliminary data provides evidence for the acceptability and sustainability of this program for refugee clients, with benefits observed across physical, psychological and interpersonal domains.
As worldwide displacement of people continues to increase, so too does the number of refugees experiencing torture and trauma. There is an increasing recognition of the importance of the brain and body in trauma-related symptoms, and an increasing interest in the use of mind-body therapies as a part of treatment. However, there has been very little published research on the use of yoga with refugees. 

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