Sybile Penhirin, Thomas Shomaker

These Yoga Teachers Empower Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors to Reclaim Their Lives

After experiencing traumatic relationships, these specially-designed classes soothe and calm battered women.

Tara Tonini slept with a shotgun. After months of being in a violent relationship, she found the strength to leave and get her own apartment, but her abuser was stalking her and threatened her life.

Sadly, Tonini’s experience isn’t unique.

In the United States, about one in four women will experience domestic violence during her life, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s extremely dangerous for a battered woman to leave an abusive partner, and those who are brave enough to do so often suffer from PTSD for years.

Tonini is now the program director of Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit that brings free yoga classes to shelters and community centers that serve domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. It also trains volunteer instructors to lead trauma-informed yoga classes. Tonini credits yoga for where she is today.

Check out the video above and witness how the regular practice of yoga can help trauma survivors in tremendous ways.

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