yogaHOPE was founded in 2006 by Suzanne Jones, a professional yoga instructor concerned by the disparity in access to yoga practice as a powerful tool for empowerment and recovery. YogaHOPE was created to facilitate access to yoga and meditation education specifically for women experiencing debilitating life transitions – those establishing independence from domestic violence, self-sufficiency from homelessness, recovery from drug addiction, or rehabilitation after mental illness.
The practice of yoga has been shown to produce positive motivational change by helping women regain their vital center of energy, satisfaction and stability. It also teaches mindfulness, impulse control, interpersonal relationship skills, discernment in decision-making, patience, and acceptance of self and of the surrounding world. The practice of yoga can help reduce low self-esteem and poor body image, and greatly improves a woman's sense of personal empowerment
Our yoga and mindfulness classes allow women a chance to engage their patterns and confront the cycles of trauma that rule over so many of their lives. Every week women in recovery from domestic violence, addictions, and homelessness walk into our classes, and with the care of our committed teachers they find a safe space to find their breath and gain skills to begin a new pattern of living.
Our team of teachers believes very strongly in the practice of yoga and the importance of making yoga available to underserved women, therefore we bring yoga classes to the facilities where these women live or visit: residential rehab facilities, homeless shelters, and similar places to foster a feeling of ownership and commitment to the practice. We encourage the women to listen to their own bodies in order to determine how far they want to go in the practice
By providing professional yoga/meditation instruction at Boston-area transitional residence facilities, yogaHOPE programs offer ten hours of programming per week that has helped approximately 700 disadvantaged women per year build a practice of health and self-empowerment.