Applying for “The Secret to Life is to Keep Breathing” Grant

22 April 2016

Dear Aspires Healthcare,
On behalf of the Rainbow House Yoga Initiative.

My name is Beck Forsland and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and I am an ICF Certified Coach. I have been practicing yoga for 13 years, teaching for 5 years and owned a yoga studio in Menominee, Michigan for 4 years. My focus in teaching yoga is to heal the body and mind. Much of life calls us out of our bodies through normal everyday stressors and worries; through the practice of yoga we can learn how to be grounded, calm, balanced and full of peace.

I am working with the Rainbow House Yoga Initiative and am writing in support of the grant, “The Secret to Life is to Keep Breathing.” The grant will provide a weekly yoga class for women who are domestic violence survivors. Domestic abuse is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. Women survivors of domestic abuse typically have symptoms of trauma including, but not limited to, denial or disbelief, anger, irritability, mood swings, guilt, shame, self-blame, or feelings of hopelessness.

Trauma is an experience held within the tissues of the body’s muscles even after abuse ends. Trauma, left unhealed, can keep people trapped in repeating behaviors and re-instigating the events that led to the trauma.

Yoga asana and mindfulness meditation and nonjudgmental attention to experiences has been shown to positively affect those experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Yoga and meditation are tools individuals can use on their own, although case studies show traumatized individuals perform better with an instructor whose guidance helps them maintain their focus on bodily sensations and breathing exercises.

The philosophy of the yoga practice re-balances the body and mind through mindful movement, stillness, and breath. Proper breathing techniques move us from the Sympathetic Nervous System—fight-flight-freeze response—and into the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Through yoga, we can experience a sense of ease and safety once again in the body.

Thank you for your consideration in the Rainbow House Yoga Initiative.

Beck Forsland, BS, ERYT200, RYT500, ACC
Wellness Coach & Alignment Yoga Teacher