Outreach Update!


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Welcome to this special Outreach focused blog post for Edinburgh Community Yoga.

In this blog post, you will find information about all the various projects that we run, and learn a little bit more about our mission to bring more yoga to more people.



Womanzone is a local not-for-profit that supports women in recovery and affected by trauma. We are now into the fourth year of working alongside Womenzone to offer weekly trauma informed yoga sessions, and have received an incredible £30,000 grant from the Volant Trust to continue what we are doing!

This project includes a weekend retreat each year, as well as a scholarship fund to allow women on the project the chance to further their yoga journeys through study or training in a supportive and structured way.

The teacher for this class, Alison, is a brilliant example of how we intend the project to work – Alison was our first scholarship recipient who went on to study at a Yoga Teacher Training programme, and we are so thrilled that she is now able to lead the classes so well.




Yoga for Military Veterans & Families

This project is a joint collaboration between Edinburgh Community Yoga and the Veterans Community Café (Sadaya) kindly funded by the Veterans Foundation. We offer a free weekly drop in yoga class at the Stafford Centre for veterans and their families. We also run day retreats and a residential retreat specifically for veterans and families.

Our teacher John Arthur teaches the weekly class at the Stafford Centre which has proven to be a popular and beneficial class. Yoga has been proven to be a useful tool in helping manage anxiety, depression and PTSD, as well as a way to promote mental and physical help.

We’re so grateful to the Veterans Foundation for funding another year of this weekly class, and would encourage anyone who is interested to come along and try the class!

Yoga with the NHS
Alongside the busy weekly class that we run for nurses and staff at the Royal Infirmary, we recently completed the first pilot of an 8 week psycho-education and yoga programme for NHS staff (Health Care Self Care), focusing on promoting individual wellbeing and also the importance of building healthy work environments that promote and encourage wellbeing through culture leadership and communication.
We are working with HR and Organisational Development in NHS Lothian to deliver and evaluate this innovative programme over the next 2 years, initial feedback is very positive and we have seen real change happen for people over the course of the programme period.Our work continues to improve NHS Staff Wellbeing in general – we recently led a full day Wellbeing Workshop with the Infection Control Team in NHS Lothian, and are continuing to work with newly qualified nurses, helping them to understand and manage stress, and to encourage mental and physical wellbeing as they take their first steps into their rewarding but demandind careers.Email lorraine@edinburghcommunityyoga.co.uk for more info.
ECY Outreach Director Lorraine is off on her travels!

In September our director Lorraine is heading off on her worldwide trip, funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship, to research and experience yoga service in Canada, the US and Kenya.She starts by travelling to Berlin for further training in Trauma Informed Practice with a 300 hour training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga.We’re so proud of her for receiving this prestigious fellowship and can’t wait to receive all her wisdom when she returns. If you’d like to keep up to date, watch out for blog posts over the next few months.

Our outreach work continues to develop and grow with continued weekly classes in the women’s wing of Edinburgh Prison, and at psychiatric hospitals both here in Edinburgh and further afield. Our chair yoga project at the Salvation Army with newly qualified yoga therapist Bethany Halcrow has been a fantastic addiction to our projects and we also have some interesting potential projects with organisations supporting women affected by trauma around the city including an ongoing project with the Spring Project in Midlothian.

We have also been developing work around social prescribing with a new project at Niddrie/Craigmillar GP for people in addiction recovery, kindly funded by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation. This class is taught by John Arthur, supported by Claire Stewart and supported by NHS Lothian, and we hope it will have a great positive impact upon the community. Other recovery classes with Penumbra and LEAP and our public community class all continue to flourish.

Go on Glasgow!
We wanted to give a special shout out to our friends and colleagues at YoGlasgow, building similar Yoga not-for-profit work. Mick Gallagher is doing great work in East End of Glasgow and working hard to show the people of Glasgow that yoga is for everyone,which you can read about here! Check out YoGlasgow for more information and to support their work.