23 Feb Yoga Therapy for LGBTQ
The world’s oldest organised Yoga Centre, The Yoga Institute conducts an exclusive Yoga Therapy workshop tailored for The Humsafar Trust, the oldest LGBTQ organization in India. The Yoga Institute is keen to bring awareness of Yoga to LGBTQ individuals to improve the health and overall well-being.
This community is more likely to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. The fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities, can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse. As a community, LGBTQ individuals do not often talk about mental health and may lack awareness about mental health conditions. This community also reports higher rates of drug, alcohol and tobacco use. Major factors that contribute to substance use by LGBTQ people include prejudice, discrimination, lack of cultural competency in the health care system and lack of peer support. They also face fear, hatred and prejudice in school, with friends, in the community and at home, which can lead to higher risks of self-harm and thoughts of suicide. Additionally, they struggle in coming out to family members, friends, classmates and teachers, especially those that are not accepting of the LGBTQ community. Various issues related to LGBT health include breast and cervical cancer, hormonal imbalance, hepatitis, mental health, substance abuse, tobacco use, depression, access to care for transgender persons, issues surrounding marriage and family recognition as well as conversion therapy.
The Yoga Institute team introduced ‘Yoga – A Way of Life’ to Humsafar community and cleared the myth that Yoga Therapy is just not doing asanas at physical level. Practice of various yogic techniques works more on mind to enhance awareness, concentration and experience excellence. Yoga also helps to cultivate right work habits and take care of the physical as well as mental health aspects. A fun filled Yoga Therapy session, inclusive of asanas and pranayamas, was followed after a brief orientation of the need and benefits of Yoga. The response of the group was positive and they expressed keen interest in learning Yoga more regularly. The Yoga Institute teachers summed up the session by emphasizing that Yoga is a sure shot guarantee to achieve holistic health and wellness goal.