Inner Peace is a collaboration between Yogobe, research scientists at Lunds University and yoga teachers. The intention with this initiative is to give refugees in Sweden and the world a better psycho-social environment where they are. We are doing this by offering 20 free yoga classes online in Arabic and Farsi. The purpose is to counteract depression and post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD as well as promote tools for physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Over the last few years over 10 million people have left their homes, families, friends, careers and lives behind for a life on the run. Many do not survive the journey to a safer place. For those that do the war often lives on within them. This initiative is our attempt to provide tools and support for increased wellbeing and social integration.
The video tutorials in this projekt are based on research about how the psyche is affected by traumas resulting from war, refuge eller persecution. The yoga teacher Anna Gordh Humlesjö and the PTSD-researcher Sean Perrin at Lunds University have put together the tutorials with the main purpose of counteracting depression and PTSD. As the yoga classes are either in Arabic/Swedish or Farsi/Swedish the project is also a very smart language tool.
The classes are free and available for streaming online. Click here to take part of them. You can also download them offline if you have an IOS device.
– The experience of war or having been a refugee often times leads to some kind of mental issues, such as depression or PTSD. Science proves that daily exercise, such as yoga, is a good way to confront ones issues and thus also a great start for ones mental integration process, says Dr Sean Perrin.
These 20 classes will never replace therapy and we are well aware of the fact that yoga will not erase that which a trauma can lead to, but the online yoga classes are a complement on the days you do not have the strength, energy or time to seek professional help. It also enables us to help a lot of people regardless of where in the world they are and on their own terms.
– Yoga affects peoples lives. I know, because as a yoga teacher my students remind me every day. Science also shows that we can move on and lead good lives inspite of experiences such as war and starvation. Yoga can be a tool on this path, says Anna Gordh Humlesjö
Anna is a yoga teacher with a background in Cognitive Neuroscience who uses her social platform to generate sustainable social change, self-compassion, compassion for each other and compassion for the planet we share.
Ameer Mehtr is part of the Inner Peace project. He escaped Syria and came to Sweden in 2015.
– Life in a refugee camp is tough. There is nothing to occupy ones time with and the future is very uncertain for each and everyone. I truly believe this project will make a difference for those of us who want to confront their fears and issues. Having access online is also great, because it means I can follow the videos any time anywhere, says Ameer Mehtr.
Ameer grew up in Damascus where he had a good life with his family before the war. Sports is an important part of his life. He used to be part of the national kickboxing team and swam with the national swim team. When Ameer escaped to Europe he did it by swimming the ocean between Turkey and Greece for 7 hours.
We intend to create more video content and strive toward engaging more and more people for increased health and wellbeing for everybody and every body (mind and soul). We definitely want to connect with more yoga teachers who are interested in teaching IRL at camps throughout Sweden.
Are you a yoga teacher and would like to connect? Are you in touch with camps who would welcome this initiative or IRL classes? Please connect with Agne Ekesiöö, [email protected].
Thank you for support and guidance on this journey:
Sassa Asli, Fadi Bitar, Nayla Elzein Ayache, Anna Gordh Humlesjö, Kamilla György, Shadi Jh, Louise Malmros, Ameer Mehtr, Navid Modiri, Nasim Nadi, Susanne Nyberg Sander, Sean Perrin, Ashkan Safaee, our founder Anna Reynold, the friends at Ad agency Milk, our Yogobe project manager Camilla Bengtsson and and all the other passion people who have helped out.