Reaching Out With Yoga

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Project at a glance


The Reaching Out with Yoga (ROWY) research project is exploring the impact of trauma-informed yoga on the health and well-being of women and children who have experienced violence. It is also exploring the potential for trauma-informed yoga to support the work and wellness of the staff of Transition and Second Stage housing programs across British Columbia.


  • To conduct and disseminate research on the health benefits of trauma-informed yoga programs. 
  • To develop and implement trauma-informed yoga classes for women and children using the services of Transition and Second Stage housing and Children Who Witness Abuse (CWWA) programs.
  • To provide training to Transition and Second Stage housing and CWWA program staff in the incorporation of trauma-informed yoga into their self-care practices and work with clients.
  • To provide training and mentorship to yoga teachers in project site communities in order to sustain the capacity of trauma-informed yoga programs beyond the project timelines.


  • Trauma-informed yoga tailors traditional yoga techniques to the specific health and safety needs of the individuals it serves in a given setting. There is currently limited research about its impact for women and their children who have experienced domestic violence or those working in the anti-violence sector.
  • The ROWY program will be implemented in a total of 24 project sites at Transition Houses, Second Stage Houses, and Children Who Witness Abuse programs across British Columbia.
  • Staff at the project sites are receiving the Using Yoga in Your Work™ program, which focuses on how to incorporate yoga and mindfulness practices for grounding, managing stress, and mitigating the impacts of secondary (vicarious) trauma that can occur as a result of working in the anti-violence sector.
  • The effectiveness of the ROWY program is measured using mixed-methods research.
  • Research findings about the process and outcomes of this project will be disseminated through reports, scholarly articles and conference presentations to the following audiences: the anti-violence/women-serving sector, the yoga community, as well as the academic and health sectors.



BC Society of Transition Houses:  a non-profit association of Transition, Second and Third Stage Houses, Safe Homes, Children Who Witness Abuse Programs serving the needs of women, youth and children who experience violence.


Yoga Outreach:  a non-profit organization which brings volunteer yoga teachers together with community and social service organizations to provide trauma-informed yoga programming to adults and youth in these facilities.


Winter 2017

Summer/Fall 2016

  • The project’s team members selected the first four pilot sites and they are: Lower Mainland in Burnaby, Revelstok, Ucluelet, and Kitmat. They are anticipating to start data collection in June 2016 to May 2017.
  • In Phase One, the project is going to add ten more sites and it’s going to be piloting with children.