Take Back the Night (TBTN) Shines Light on Sexual Violence with the National Shine Your Light Yoga Festival on December 12th.
Hundreds of yoga studios and fitness centers across the country to hold trauma-informed classes for survivors and their supporters on Shine Your Light Yoga Day 2020, including YogaHotDish of North Oaks and Arden Hills.
YogaHotDish will be offering two trauma-informed ZOOM classes on Saturday, December 12th with all proceeds going to TBTN. Visit www.yogahotdish.com to register. The recommended donation is $12, the normal class price, but you can donate any amount via PayPal/credit card.
YogaHotDish Founder Shaila Cunningham, a twenty-year veteran of the yoga business, has fielded a multitude of requests to do classes for various causes. “I was impressed with TBTN as they took the time to research the kind of yoga I offer and ascertain that it is a good fit with their trauma-informed guidelines. There are as many kinds of trauma and stress as there are people; that said, we can all use a common set of yoga tools to better wire the body and brain for healing and transformation.” Former Minnesota resident and certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor Libby Wendorf of North Carolina will be facilitating the Noon Zoom class.
Cunningham explains, “The idea that anyone who has experienced any kind of sexual violence from date rape to domestic abuse can go to www.takebackthenight.org, fill out a contact form and speak to a lawyer within 24 hours is comforting. I imagine a lot of victims just don’t know who to turn to, and I encourage anyone reading this with a college-aged kid to take the time to send the link to them or post it to social media.”
Since the 1970s, Take Back the Night has been supporting survivors of sexual trauma and domestic abuse. It is the oldest international movement fighting to end sexual violence in all its forms. Formed in 1999, the Take Back the Night Foundation (TBTNF) is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Katie Koestner, the first survivor to speak out nationally and publicly as the victim of “date” (as opposed to “stranger”) rape, brought together activists and long-standing participants in TBTN events to create the foundation. TBTN has reached over 10 million people at 800 colleges and communities across the US and in more than 30 countries with its initiatives and evidence-based educational programming.
“Katie Koestner is a contemporary of mine and a force of nature; meeting her, if only via Zoom, was inspiring,” says Cunningham. “I remember seeing her on the cover of TIME Magazine when I was also in college. It took so much courage to share her story, before date rape was ‘a thing.'”
The United Nations Population Fund roughly estimates that there has been a 20% rise in intimate partner violence alone around the world since the start of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. That equates to 15 million additional cases in just the last few months.
Through the National ‘Shine Your Light Yoga Festival 2020’, Take Back the Night hopes to shed light on and strengthen survivors who have all too often been denied justice and silenced behind closed doors.
On December 12th, 2020, TBTN invites communities across the country to show their support and take part in a trauma-informed yoga class at their nearest participating studio or fitness center. The National Shine Your Light Yoga Festival 2020 also includes 8 virtual classes live-streamed throughout the day to accommodate up to 80,000 more participants. All proceeds from the event support TBTN’s programs and initiatives, such as the Respect My Red educational program on healthy relationships.
At a time when our communities are in tremendous need of healing and restoration, trauma-informed yoga offers a powerful opportunity for individuals and communities to come together in a safe, welcoming atmosphere to facilitate recovery. Yoga practice teaches us we cannot always control what happens outside of ourselves or in our immediate environments. However, we can control being mindful of ourselves, our bodies, our breath, our thoughts, and our surroundings. Little by little, with dedicated practice, we can start to truly grasp our inner
strength and connect with others to affect positive social change, one breath at a time.
For more information about the National Shine Your Light Yoga Festival 2020 or TBTNF, please visit the TBTNF website: https://takebackthenight.org. You can also find a list of participating
studios and fitness centers near you at https://takebackthenight.org/yoga.