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Yoga Lessons for Women – Story of an Ukrainian Refugee

Yana Lazuto is a mother, yoga teacher, psychologist, and one of the many women who, with their children, had to flee the horrors of war in Ukraine.

For her, yoga is a way of life!

It is what helps her maintain serenity and live joyfully every day, despite the difficulties, and it is an indispensable tool to deal with the fear of this very uncertain future, especially in this period that she is forced to spend in a foreign country, far from her husband and her home.

Her experience with yoga practice began about eight years ago. It began as a simple hobby over time and became a passion that led her to decide to pursue a more in-depth study in India.

For five years she spent the winter studying and practicing in various places and supplementing her skills with a course in Intense Meditation.

(She currently works online as a psychologist, supporting Ukrainian women and children and teaching yoga classes in her native language.)

Yana arrived in Italy with her daughter in April 2022.

After a period in Ancona, she moved to Castel Ritaldi where she was taken in by the Social Cooperative “Il Cerchio.” A collection of women and men who believe that a more equitable world is possible. Who work hard to ensure that the people they follow succeed in integrating, that they have a chance to find their place and have an active role in the community in which they live.

Within this Cooperative (thanks also to the resources of the “National Fund for Asylum Policies and Services” which they access because they coordinate the services of the SAI – Reception and Integration System – for the Municipality of Castel Ritaldi) they manage to guarantee integrated reception interventions.

In addition to ensuring board and lodging services, they organize spaces in which to give information, assistance, and orientation. They study paths, individual or group, to create opportunities in which to relate the newcomers to the community and develop projects in which the beneficiaries can get to know and be known by the inhabitants of the territory in which they have been welcomed.

It is at the disposal of this virtuous reality that Yana decided to put her skills as a yoga teacher when it was proposed to her to lead a cycle of Yoga lessons, free of charge, dedicated to the women of the Municipality of Castel Ritaldi.

The “Yoga Lessons for Women” project, which took place in the roof garden inside the Castel Ritaldi castle from June 16 to June 30, gave 10 participants at a time the opportunity to take 3 classes (at a basic level to be within everyone’s reach) of Hatha Yoga and Kundalini, supplemented by a relaxation and meditation part. To work on listening and awareness of the body.

Yana strongly desired to conduct the classes in Italian even though she was at her first experience as a Yoga teacher in Italy and there were language difficulties.

She made it a point to prepare herself as much as possible, even taking supplementary classes with Sami Paolini, the Cooperative’s Italian language teacher for foreigners, designed specifically to help her hold a guided practice in Italian.

Throughout the project, she was then joined by the Cooperative’s linguistic-cultural mediators ready to facilitate communication between her and the practitioners to make the experience more fulfilling for everyone.

The course was dedicated to a female audience only to indulge a desire of Yana, who wanted to share how much Yoga can help deal with all those anxieties and fears, often also related to deep insecurities about one’s physical appearance, that women in particular have.

The message she wanted to convey is that life is only one and we need to be able to live it to the fullest” even in difficult moments, valuing what nature has given us. Yoga can be a valuable help to find inner balance, to take care of ourselves and, why not, also to have a healthier and consequently more beautiful physique. Increasing that inner energy, which is essential to face the toughest times.”

We at ReYoga are proud to have been able to support this wonderful initiative with our Grippy Boo Yoga towels, designed specifically for outdoor practice, and we hope to help spread, more and more,  projects like this.

A special greeting and thanks to the Italian teacher for foreigners Sami Paolini, from the Cooperative “The Circle,” who thought of us and allowed this collaboration!

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