Yoga for Bhopal was conceived after an initial event hosted by Meaghan Delahunt in Edinburgh at last year’s 32nd Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster. Meaghan is an accomplished novelist, short story writer, and a qualified yoga teacher and has inspired the creation of Yoga for Bhopal which we hope will not only be an ongoing fundraiser but will also act as a vehicle to share knowledge. Meaghan and Bhopal: CLICK
The Sambhavna Trust Clinic in Bhopal, funded by the Bhopal Medical Appeal, uses yoga as one of a range of treatments for the survivors of the Bhopal Disaster. Yoga is used to treat chronic diseases involving the respiratory, musculo-skeletal, neurological and endocrine systems; whilst women survivors suffer additional, serious gynaecological problems which Sambhavna has also been treating, to great success, using Yoga: CLICK
At the World Conference of Asthma in Buenos Aires in 2009, yoga techniques used at Sambhavna were hailed for their success. Yoga therapy was seen as an effective means to provide sustained relief to persons suffering from chronic breathlessness. The study presented showed that after six months of practicing yoga, all participants found significantly increased lung function and decreased use of medicines: CLICK
Our hope is that, through Yoga for Bhopal, we can build a network of individual teachers and organisations that can not only benefit from the techniques developed at Sambhavna but, equally, impart the benefit of their own studies.
The anniversary classes, here in the UK this December, were used to raise awareness of ongoing Bhopal Disaster-related issues, and the work of Sambhavna, as well as to raise vital funds to help support the work of the Clinic and we hope this is the start of even greater things to come.
On Friday 1st December, Adele Robertson held a successful event at the Pilton Working Men’s’ Club, in Somerset, where she led a yoga session including postures designed to help with breathing and meditation practices and to awaken compassion and the heart centre. The class was followed by refreshments and a showing of the short film ‘Sambhavna’ which explains a little about the Bhopal Disaster and the work of the Sambhavna Clinic.
Our Yoga for Bhopal T-shirt was keenly promoted at the event and Adele and friends can be seen at the centre of the picture wearing theirs!
Our thanks go to Adele, for all her hard work, The Pilton Working Men’s’ Club for the use of their venue, long-standing supporter Fiona Case, along with everybody who contributed or participated.
This was a gentle session of asana and pranayama to restore energy and soothe the nervous system and was followed by a showing of the Sambhavna film with Indian snacks and warming chai provided.
On a freezing York night, Laura felt a spirit of real support and great motivation among the group and, on the back of it all, Laura has persuaded one of their senior teachers, Kirsten Agar Ward, to donate 20% of her takings from a class in York at the beginning of February: CLICK
Our thanks go to Laura, for all her hard work, Kirsten Agar Ward, Clement’s Hall for the use of their venue, along with everybody else who contributed or participated.
The class was followed by a showing of the Sambhavna film with tea and cake provided. Emma was delighted with the event and equally pleased that those viewing the film found it both moving and thought provoking.
Our thanks go to Emma and the Sheffield Yoga Centre, along with everybody else who contributed or participated.
On the same day, IsleofYoga on the Isle of Wight, hosted a one day Antenatal Yoga Workshop with Abigail Peck. Abigail is a perinatal yoga teacher, doula and co-director of the Acquaviva School of Yoga and specialises in prevention or recovery from common injuries associated with pregnancy.
Erling McCracken, from IsleofYoga, arranged the event and is particularly interested in the exchange of information with the Sambhavna Clinic
After the event, Erling said that “It felt so good, gave significant meaning to my understanding of what yoga means… yoga does mean connection and I felt that I was connecting to the guys in India… I would love to share our experiences with them if it helps engage more people to practice.” In a blog piece Erling explains a little more of how yoga makes connections: CLICK
Erling also proposes to go forward with one-to-one ante-natal classes and to donate 10% to our appeal on an ongoing basis. Isle of Yoga’s commitment to fundraising is extremely welcome and we’re especially pleased to have such enthusiasm for the sharing of knowledge right at the outset.
Our thanks go to the Isle of Yoga, Erling and Elaine McCracken, Abigail Peck and all the participants in the workshop.
Sunday 3rd December saw the main 33rd Anniversary protest rally in Bhopal, with the five assembled survivors’ organisations marching to the gates of the abandoned Union Carbide factory while Yoga For Bhopal returned to its spiritual roots in Edinburgh where Meaghan Delahunt had arranged a series of yoga classes at the Santosa Yoga and Meditation studio: CLICK
At Santosa, sessions were organised in Vinyasa Flow, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Pranyama and Yoga Nidra with a further ‘De-stress for Inner Calm’ class led by Lorraine Close. Lorraine is a previous volunteer at the Sambhavna Clinic and now heads up the Outreach Development for Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach combining her background in nursing with her specialist yoga training in trauma therapy.
Our thanks go to all of the teachers; Esme Lopez, Brigid Collins, Bijam, Sheila Dafereras, Lorraine Close and Kirsty Harper; to Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach and Lorraine Close for donating the money from their workshop to YfB; to Janis Binnie, Laurent Jacquet and all at Santosa who have already offered to host YfB next year! We also thank the students that came and those who didn’t make it but sent donations.
All in all, we could hardly be more pleased with our Yoga for Bhopal weekend. The passion for the cause, along with the enthusiasm and energy to host the events, gives us great hope for the future of our movement. #YogaForBhopal