Project Haiti
Collaborative Effort to Bring Therapeutic Yoga to Haiti

fantastic momentum and open hearts abound!

yogaHOPE Sue here. For the last several years I have been meeting the most stupendous and open hearted people involved in the yoga for service field and making amazing connections with wonderful people with no goal or purpose other than just to be connected to this wonderful community. Today, I realized why our paths have been crossing. The interest and support for the yoga for trauma relief project in Haiti is completely overwhelming and glorious! Added to the team are Jean Zove, a journalist who wrote about yogaHOPE for Yoga Journal and Steven Gross of Project Joy Mary Canning, a former filmaker for NPR and Frontline (a yoga student of mine) will be making connections with her friend, producer and fellow yogi to see what interest she has. Maggie of Sprout Yoga has reached out to Gaiam who are enthusiastic about donating mats and supplies. Deepak Chopra has helped me make connections that could help with partnerships and sponsors.  David Emerson has secured JRI (parents to the Trauma Center here in Boston) as a sponsor and we are putting our preliminary proposal together for them to start with private and public funding. Things are shaping up like this: Mark Lilly of Street Yoga will be leading the training for the Yoga for Secondary Trauma program (for the helpers), Jenn Cohen will lead the training (hopefully along with Steven Gross) for Yoga for Traumatized Children, and David Emerson will be the lead on Yoga for Trauma Recover for adult victims. We have close contacts (thanks to Jenn Cohen and a contact from Partners) with folks who are on the ground in Haiti and can inform us of how the infrastructure is coming together. They can help us determine where are programs will be best placed (Orphanages, Hospitals, Temporary housing faciliites etc..). We will hope to have the program in place AFTER the immediate needs are addressed. That will be a while but timing is very important. The emotional effects of trauma don’t have an expiration date. They are there for the long term and we know that and need to stay out of the way while the disaster relief is taking place. NOW is the time for us to get the programs together the team rallied and the training scheduled. If you are a teacher, writer, filmmaker, yoga supply manufacturer, have contacts in Haiti, fundraiser or translator please get in touch. I look forward to keeping you all up to date on the birth, growth and execution of this amazing collaboration. Thank you to Maggie Sprout for planting this seed.

peace and blessings,



4 Responses to “fantastic momentum and open hearts abound!”

  1. Not to take away focus from the victims of the disaster, but I’d also suggest a full-fledged program to offer yoga for STSD (Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a way of supporting the caregivers, rescuers, relief workers and counselors who will have already seen considerable action on the ground.

    The need to address STSD is relatively immediate, considering the rescue/relief effort in progress, while disaster survivors themselves may have more basic needs to address (e.g., food, water, medicine, shelter, clothing).

    STSD, also known as “compassion fatigue” or “vicarious trauma”, became a significant problem for 9/11 rescuers and relief workers. I estimate the Haiti earthquake’s effects to be roughly two orders of magnitude greater than 9/11. Imagine 100 times 9/11 Ground Zero, 100 times the number of dead, 100 times the number injured.

    • Fantastic information Ross and yes, Mark Lilly of Street Yoga is the lead on the yoga for secondary project program. In the works and looking for partners and organizations to sponsor and fund. Partners in Health is down there and we’re talking with some people from the org today! Stand by and stay tuned!

  2. I am a yoga teacher located in Chicago who would love to participate. Please keep me updated. I can be reached at thanks-Denean

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