Hope for Haiti – A Healing Touch

One of Meta Yoga own teachers, Emily Steingart, was able to go to Haiti in April to assist with the program YogaHOPE; teaching yoga to those who have been living without – on a broad scale – these past few years, and for many, much of their lives. These are Emily’s words (though her initial note below really brings us the real message).

Donated mats from Meta Yoga Studios Emily brought to Haiti

NOTE FROM EMILY to JULI upon Emily’s return: “What a wonderful experience. I left Haiti knowing that I have impacted the Haitian team we worked with, but really they have changed my life. We worked together to learn from each other through the powerful healing touch of yoga. Thank you again for all of your support. I have now seen where the donations are going and it is well worth it! The yoga mats were a great addition as well!! This training has not only touched my heart,  it has allowed me to feel more connected with my students and my teachings. I would love to share this training ….called “Healing Touch”. 

Emily’s Experiences:

Emily Steingart with the youth of Haiti (photo above)

A 7.0 magnitude Earthquake hit on January 12, 2010. Thousands were homeless, hungry, and thousands of lives came to an end. It was then I knew I had to go to Haiti. In October 2010, I went with a group from Oregon on a mission to host medical clinics in tent cities. We were treating many illnesses, and injuries as a result of the Earthquake. I left after 3 weeks knowing that I made a difference in many peoples lives, however I felt as though it was not a long term health solution. Families living in overpopulated tent cities, few to no latrines, no clean water, and little sanitation, making illness hard to control. I left Haiti feeling empty because I knew more was needed. The week I departed, the cholera epidemic erupted.

Not being a medical expert, it lead me to find a way that I could most benefit Haiti. As a yoga therapy teacher, I began to focus on the many suffering from post traumatic symptoms. I did research and discovered an organization called YogaHope. YogaHOPE uses an educational approach to healing.

In April of 2012, I finally got my chance to return to Haiti. This time teaming up with YogaHope. Our mission was to work with Haitian community leaders bringing healing energy combined with yoga postures, allowing trauma victims to feel safe. We participated as fellow students, learning and sharing our gifts and emotions with one another. The Haitian team expressed moments of empowerment and equality, feeling a sense of connection, love and healing touch.

The days spent in Haiti were powerful, coming to realize that we all have similar fears and emotions. Our one-on-one yoga methods used trust building activities and basic restorative poses, such as childʼs pose and spinal twists, integrated with touch and breath. The hands on healing approach is a powerful message that sends energy from one person to another through the power of touch, bringing love and smiles.

The skills that we shared as a group are already being spread among the families and communities of the Haitian team, as with myself. Leaving Haiti this
time I feel confident that I made a difference in someones life, and they have made a huge difference in my life, practice, and teachings. I hoped one day Yoga would be a part of Haiti, and I can confidently say…my dream came true. Iʼd like to personally thank Meta for their efforts towards my fundraising for this trip!!!

To learn more about YogaHope, or to make a donation to help spread yoga to Haiti please click the link below: https://www.firstgiving.com/account/fundraising/FRPPage.asp?id=2416886&did=1

~ Juli Rathke

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