Hinde House | Breathe Easy Project | 2016 - 2018
We ran a weekly yoga class with Hinde House, a hostel for homeless women awaiting permanent housing in 2016 and 2018. The women there are vulnerable, often with multiple issues, sometimes in recovery, victims of domestic abuse and with poor mental health. The all women weekly yoga sessions helped to give them a focus in a safe and familiar environment, providing an opportunity to find calm in their often chaotic lives and improve fitness. The yoga sessions allowed staff and residents to bond over a shared feel good activity. Because of the lack of funding for social activities like yoga we were given a warm welcome.
Under One Roof | Breathe Easy Project | 2016 - 2018
This organisation is a valuable resource for homeless, and those at risk of homelessness. It is a social-hub providing shelter, ICT facilities, opportunities to get together, to chat, create, make music, exercise and just “be. Being able to help this group develop strategies which they could practice anywhere to help let go of the body and mind stresses that come with homelessness was highly rewarding.
Silver Road | Breathe Easy Project | 2016 - 2018
Silver Road Community Centre is a busy community hub in North Norwich serving a mixed area. Some of the people using the centre are on low income, unemployed, have physical or mental disabilities and are socially disadvantaged. Silver Road offers classes and other community driven events that give people a sense of belonging and pride in their own area. The free yoga classes we run there have made it easier for those held back by lack of money, illness or social anxiety to try and participate in something to help fitness and mental well being often seen as a luxury lifestyle choice. The classes are something that locals and others can drop in to as a constant in their life, a valued resource.
Carers Only | Breathe Easy Project | 2016 - 2018
The Carers Only class was a small yoga group, initially enabled by Louise Goold and The Carers Forum. The attendees met weekly at The Carers Forum. Free yoga classes gave them the opportunity for respite and, if only for an hour or so, to let off steam, physically and mentally, and let go of the responsibilities and constant vigilance required in caring for someone else. The positive sense of wellbeing gained also benefits those they care for. They had a chance to chat and to share their experience and concerns within a cohesive group that understands their situation.
4women | Breathe Easy Project | 2016 - 2018
We were happy to join forces with 4women at this wonderful Norwich community resource organisation and run a weekly yoga class. The class allowed women who may have suffered trauma such as domestic violence, or with on-going health issues to get together to chat over coffee, create through the Sweethearts sessions, or enjoy exercise and meditation in a safe welcoming all female environment.
Cloth of Kindness | Grace Under Pressure | 2018 - 2019
The Cloth of Kindness is a community-based textile arts project. They work with vulnerable groups getting together to embroider their thoughts and experiences of kindness. The aim being to reduce social isolation and promote well-being giving people a voice in a very personal way. Each person in the group embroiders a square with their own individual message around the theme of kindness and these squares are sewn together into colourful cloths. The cloths display a coming together of the group and their individual thoughts and feelings. It was a pleasure to do yoga with them at their exhibition in Rockland St Mary, the start of a beautiful relationship and more exciting events to come.
Silver Road Continued | Grace Under Pressure | 2018 - 2019
In this project we built on the success of the class the previous year. Many of the previous attendees returned to the classes, and the classes grew and expanded as people spread the word about the free Friday drop in class at the community centre. The drop in nature allows people to be flexible, particularly helpful when people have caring responsibilities that can prevent the best fitness and health intentions. Also social anxiety or fear of failure can make people reluctant to commit to a course of yoga. Coming with a friend who’s recommended the class allows people them to dip a toe in the water and then dip in and out as and when convenient. We made use of the skills of those attending. Ruth Knapple an up and coming artist and regular of the class designed a beautiful flyer (see below) which really drew people into the project. This Silver Road Free drop in class is continuing for 8 weeks until the end of October 2019 funded by Silver Road Community Centre.
Syrian Refugees | Grace Under Pressure | 2018 - 2019
We worked with the People from Abroad Team, the prize- winning social work team from Norfolk County Council who help the Syrian refugees who have settled in the county. The women needed female only classes where they could meet with each other for fun and fitness. The classes contributed to the teams work helping them to settle and form bonds with others who had gone through a similar experience of being displaced from their home country and trauma.
Leeway Safe House | Grace Under Pressure | 2018 - 2019
We worked with women taking refuge from violent partners at one of the Leeway safe houses in Norwich. The women were able to access yoga to help them deal with past trauma and keep their children close at hand in a safe protected environment. The restful yoga nidra meditation with aromatherapy was much appreciated.
CBT Workshop | Norwich Awake Free Yoga | 2020 - 2021
We are also offering an online workshop on Managing Stress with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Techniques and Yoga, which will include an introduction to CBT, providing you with some strategies to help you reducing the time you invest worrying. This workshop can help you if you tend to worry about the future, problems to solve, planning or things that you fear that could go wrong. We will explore how to identify these worries, how to contain them and connect to the present moment, presented by Isabel Ponce Grosso, followed by a Yoga for Stress and Anxiety Zoom class with Sue.
Thursday 25 February 2021 5-7pm Managing Worry with CBT and Yoga
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or message Softly Softly Yoga CIC Facebook to book your place. The workshop will replace the regular Thursday class in that week
Free Yoga | Norwich Awake Free Yoga | 2020 - 2021
Over the last four years people have felt the benefits of the yoga provided and welcomed the opportunity to continue practising throughout these stressful times. People have introduced friends to our classes and our Softly Softly Yoga community is expanding and taking on board teachers and students alike. We provide free classes with fully trained and experienced teachers with a range of yoga background and disciplines, who share an enthusiasm to make yoga available and inclusive to all.
In 2020 our yoga classes have taken place weekly in the Silver Rd Community Centre and The Phoenix Centre, both thriving community hubs, providing a range of activities, doing a fantastic job in social welfare and providing food where needed, serving the vulnerable and tackling poverty head on. Softly Softly Yoga CIC also ran a weekly class taught by a variety of teachers at The Yoga Tree Studio and Acorn Cafe, an accessible and beautiful studio in a historic building in the heart of Norwich. Some of those at the nearby YMCA hostel took part in yoga, and felt it's therapeutic effects for the first time. All the classes took place in a carefully monitored, socially distanced environment, while regulations allowed and when no longer possible in person they moved online to meet the current regulations in place.
The current classes for this project are available to the following groups: the unemployed, those on low income, unpaid carers and those with ongoing mental and or physical health issues. All classes are accessible to beginners as well as those with more experience include breath work, meditation and relaxation.
Wednesdays on Zoom 2-3pm with various teachers (see below)
Thursdays on Zoom 4-5pm with Sue Tideswell
Fridays on Zoom 1.30-2.30 pm with Sue Tideswell
Please check Softly Softly Yoga CIC Facebook for details and message to book a class or email email@example.com or the relevant teacher.
Teachers for the Free Wednesday Class:
Cloth of Kindness Continued...| Norwich Awake Free Yoga | 2020 - 2021
Please take a look at the clips to find some ways of using breath and movement to help you feel more relaxed and at ease.
The Yoga Reset Project | 2023
This year we were grateful to receive further lottery funding from the Awards for All Programme, to support our current project designed to alleviate stress and offer some comfort amidst the economic hardship many experience.
So far, have worked with some wonderful teachers, to help people move towards well-being. and many of those who discovered yoga through our previous projects have stayed with us and brought new friends along to try yoga.
Ivana Tara Prekopova
Ivana is a senior and accomplished teacher, with a wealth of knowledge and spiritual guidance and people flocked to her heavenly evening Seva yoga session funded by Softly Softly Yoga
Jeff taught a class for us aimed at older men with typical older male bodies. He discovered the physical and mental benefits of yoga later in life himself and is passionate about its positive effects.
Rachel delivered a super, therapeutic sound and gong bath yoga nada for deeper meditation, which was very well received. and we hope to offer another before the end of the year. Please check our Facebook page for details of any upcoming classes and events.
Abby is a senior yoga teacher, Ashtanga devotee and teacher trainer, with many years of teaching experience. Abby offered a run of wonderful restorative yoga classes, in a beautiful space, where people were supported to access deep rest and comfort with the aid of props and equipment to alleviate both physical and mental ailments.
This year we were thrilled to have Katrina Zawawi join with us to offer her expertise in Kundalini yoga and her experience of working with those with Autism. Her sessions were uplifting and transformative and went down a storm with her group from The Aspergers Society community in Norfolk.
Partner Organisations and Venues
In addition to Aspergers East Anglia, we worked with our old friends Silver Rd Community Centre, The Phoenix Centre, and Hinde House, a refuge for homeless women with complex needs, Waterloo Park The Feed Café, a social enterprise working to prevent poverty, hunger, and homelessness. They have all hosted our classes, as well as the fantastic welcoming and fully equipped space Happy Om Studio. We have provided other wellbeing strategies, complementing the more traditional hatha yoga, offering emotional healing, through techniques, like Feldenkrais and somatic movement as well as opportunities to get together, have a coffee and chat. We also joined with The Cloth of Kindness at a sewing and well-being event, to support and increase social inclusion for sex workers in Norwich.
We forged relationships in the community networking with other yoga businesses as well as voluntary and public sector groups We were given free tickets for Norwich Yoga festival which we distributed amongst those who would not otherwise have been able to participate in this super annual yoga event. We were approached by The Recovery College, part of Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Health Care Trust to run a beginners taster yoga course for those emerging from severe and enduring mental health crisis, which people loved.We also did some more yoga with friends at Hinde House, residential home for women with addiction and mental health issues).
Currently we are talking with a local initiative, campaigning to set up a creative hub of arts and well-being groups.. Our organisation is becoming more sustainable through donations and ongoing class participation, and we have been contacted by many teachers and practitioners keen to work with our project in the future. Please check Facebook for updates and current classes or email firstname.lastname@example.org