OM Yoga Magazine : Issue 43 Favourite

Hi friends :)

I would like to introduce you to OM Yoga digital magazine. For UK and US readers it is available on Kindle Fire, Google Play and via the App Store. UK residents can also access OM Yoga via Kobo. I don't have an iPad or Kindle - waaaaaah, #firstworldproblems - so I am currently reading via my iPhone 4s. It' my birthday in just over a month - staring 27 in the face, me no likey! - so I may be asking for a Kindle Fire to aid with my readings!

om yoga and lifestyle magazine

I won't lie, reading magazine content from a small screen is a little bit annoying but it isn't impossible or uncomfortable. If anything, I am very impressed that the quality of the magazine isn't compromised at all when you zoom in to read the text! The pictures are incredible and the content of the entire magazine is inspiring, informative and just, amazing. 

Each month I will select one article to talk about; making a decision is so hard! In the end, it had to be this very brave article: "Fighting back" by Abbie Saunders. In this piece, on pages 108 to 109, Abbie talks about how yoga is aiding the recovery of victims of domestic violence and emotional abuse. These are both experiences that contribute to my PTSD and dissociative disorder.

om yoga fighting back

The article starts off by making a very important point: "Healing, however - both physical and emotional - can be an extensive and prolonged process, with elevated stress and crisis taking their toll on the bodies immune system, undermining energy levels and general wellness over time." What I would like to make very clear is I have no doubt that the impact of abuse of any description is not addressed enough within the public domain. It's a delicate matter and for fairly obvious reasons it is very hard to get victims on camera talking about their experience and recovery. That's why I think blogs and the written word in general are absolutely priceless. Everyone is glued to their iPhone, iPad, Kindle etc so it makes complete sense to utilize this to draw this issue into a wider audience and get a conversation going.

Abuse changes everything about who you are. Abuse changes how you think. Abuse changes how you see the world and your belief system is shattered. Abuse changes how you view your body and soul. Forever. 

I want to make this point now because it is incredibly important: It was not your fault. I know it is very hard to accept this and it will take a long time, hell, I'm still struggling with it after 5 years of freedom from my abusers. There isn't a day that passes where I'm not reminded of it and thrown back into those darker times - thank you PTSD - but there are days when I can understand this logic and work on being nice to myself and help my body and mind recover. This is the biggest middle finger you can give to your abuser and I'm all for that.

Yoga is the perfect method to reconnect with your body. It's oh so gentle and you can go at your own pace. If hyper-vigilance and/or hyper-sensitivity are issues for you, yoga will help you combat this in a safe and controlled manner.

Enter the Boulevard Zen Foundation by film-maker and yoga-fan Rich Tola. He was inspired to create the Boulevard Zen Foundation following the completion of a 2009 documentary, Boulevard Zen; he visited a local domestic violence shelter to donate clothes given by the cast. Within a month of this initial meeting and the administrator of the shelter admitting they did not have the funds to run yoga classes for the women and children living there at the time, Boulevard Zen Foundation was born! 

"When I started the foundation, it wasn't about replacing existing emotional trauma therapies with something more successful. It was about teaching families living in domestic violence shelters the benefits of yoga and giving them the tools to embrace a daily fitness programme (based on yoga) without having to pay for a gym membership."

This makes a very clear argument for the benefits of yoga and for such a broad range of circumstances and conditions. I remember when I was first admitted to hospital way back in 2006 and the doctor suggesting yoga to me as a method of managing my symptoms. I really wish I listened and wasn't so focused on medication being my only way out. Please try yoga before launching into medications. They are so over-prescribed and I think we have forgotten our brains don't always need an artificial boost of serotonin.

Warrior Pose Namaste Yoga
image via Namaste Yoga (
Exercise produces endorphins and these are a much more potent neurotransmitter than serotonin, so yoga will work faster than your run-of-the-mill citalopram or fluoxetine prescription. By the time you've got through the initial month of feeling like death from the side-effects of the medication, you could be head over heels in love with the effects of yoga. Of course, sometimes you will have to take medication but there's nothing to stop you from practicing yoga at the same time. You're not weak or a failure if your brain really does need that little extra help. It's a failure in biochemistry!

"Yoga can help anyone deal with adversity in their lives, not to mention save our society millions of dollars a year in healthcare costs. It would be awesome if all children could start learning yoga at a very young age, like in kindergarten."

The article closes with a book recommendation; "Escaping the boy: My life with a Sociopath." by Paula Reeves-Carrasquilo and a company recommendation called "Safe Girl Security", created by Andrea Clark. 

Escaping the boy is a fiction based on real-life experience by Paula ( She found herself in an abusive relationship at the age of 38. The abuse was verbal and emotional and she was controlled by this person. "She says her experiences penetrated body, mind and spirit until she was convinced she was the evil one." This is the hallmark of an abuser and this level of psychological damage takes a very long time to recover from. I will absolutely be reading this book and will report back with my thoughts!

Safe Girl Security
Safe Girl Security is the brain-child of Andrea Clark. Following her escape from an abusive relationship, taking her four daughters with her, she wanted to warn others about the nature of domestic violence. She blogged and created fashion-conscious personal alarms to help women feel safer on the streets. "My goal now is to empower women to stand up for themselves and to be more aware of the dangers they face both on the streets and behind closed doors."

Thank you for reading! If you'd like to grab yourself a subscription to OM Yoga Magazine then click the link! An annual subscription is £24.50, or you can try out 5 issues for £19.75. I just know you'll love this magazine as much as I do!!

What are your experiences with yoga? Do you have a preferred method such as Ashtanga or Bikram? Let me know!


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