Katie Linn of the New York City Metro-NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) describes YMW’s impact this way:
Yoga for Mental Wellness has transformed lives, built a sense of community driven by love and acceptance, and removed the stigma often associated with mental illness. [The teachers] … value the person first and challenge those who participate in their classes to change their own lives and discover a holistic understanding of wellness.
As a yoga instructor interested in working with individuals suffering from mental disorder, shadowing Elizabeth has been one of the most valuable learning experiences I could have hoped for. Elizabeth’s depth of knowledge, combined with her sensitivity and care, is a gift to witness in and out of the studio. The men and women who take her classes return time and again because Elizabeth so effectively and lovingly guides them towards experiencing the inner wellspring of peace in their minds and bodies. … Elizabeth’s work is cutting-edge and a prime example of the future of Western psychology. I look forward to continuing to learn from her both as a professional and as a woman aiming to live from her heart.
In the Words of Our Students
- The yoga class has helped me in all aspects of my life, including physically, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically.
- Yoga is the one space where I learn to find safety in my own body and am encouraged to come out of my mind and mental plane.
- This class is an oasis that keeps me going through the week.
- The first couple of times I attended I cried because in my 47 years of life I had never been treated so respectfully and holistically.
- As a survivor of physical and sexual abuse, I am very sensitive regarding my body. Therapy is great and helps but does not encompass the physical aspects of my being. In the yoga class, the teachers reached my soul through my body.
- Yoga has helped me to rest more deeply, [and] to get to sleep more quickly without any artificial sleep aids.
- I feel more grounded, alert, energized and more like myself. I feel very comfortable with myself and free of tension.
- I wish the class was offered more often and that such classes were made available to all survivors of trauma.
- The efforts of all the people in the class…create a harmony that promotes a sense of healing.
- I hope in my heart that [this kind of yoga class] will become more and more available and spread through the mental health community like wild fire.