Circle of Hope offers “yoga healing plus a space to be heard”

Alignment 8, Creative 360, and the Midland County Cultural Awareness Coalition come together to offer Circle of Hope sessions. These are confidential gatherings that combine a more traditional support group sharing experience with specialized yoga designed to be sensitive to people who have experienced trauma or are struggling with its effects.

Circle of Hope sessions take place on the first Monday of each month in the Creative 360 ​​Gallery. Led by Keri Kenney of Alignment 8, a trauma-informed and registered yoga instructor, the sessions are for anyone directly or indirectly affected by trauma.

The next session will be at Creative 360 ​​on Monday, March 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. Please dress comfortably. Contact Creative 360 ​​at 989-837-1885 for more information.

“Trauma separates us. We lose connection with our own body, inner self and others,” Kenney explained. “Circle of Hope offers healing through yoga as well as a space to be heard, to be cared for or simply to breathe in safety. I had to bring this to our community to honor my parents and the magnitude of the trauma their loss created. I have personally experienced the healing power of Circle of Hope.

Creative 360, which partners with Alignment 8 for a variety of yoga and wellness classes, saw Circle of Hope as a logical addition to the lineup. “Our mission is to create environments where everyone can experience the creative process,” said director Laura Vosejpka. “Healing is an example of recreating our relationship to ourselves and our community. We are delighted to be able to share our open and welcoming gallery space for these sessions. »

When the Midland County Cultural Awareness Coalition heard of Kenney’s offer, it immediately recognized an important opportunity for those working for diversity, equity and inclusion to share their experiences in a supportive community. The coalition offers support for the program and encourages members to benefit from the experience.

Kenney points to research that shows a trauma-informed yoga practice has helped people with PTSD have fewer and less severe dissociative symptoms as well as gain vitality. Similar results were observed for survivors of domestic violence. Kenney studied Yoga to Transform Trauma with Catherine Ashton in 2016 and has been offering the Circle of Hope space ever since.

Support from the Cultural Awareness Coalition has allowed Kenney and Creative 360 ​​to offer Circle of Hope sessions strictly on a donation basis. All are welcome and no one should let an inability to pay deprive them of the benefits of this program.

James C. Tibbs