Ourmala is a UK registered charity that helps refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London find strength and hope through yoga and move on with their lives. The core group we work with are seeking refuge, having fled from atrocities such as torture and sexual violence in conflict and are registered with the UK Home Office. They are referred to us from organisations including the British Red Cross and Freedom from Torture.
We offer free therapeutic yoga classes for the women, refund cost of travel, provide hot lunch, English lessons and help them access other services and education. Consistent yoga practice helps them move on with life and leave despair behind.
The women tell us that yoga relieves their pain and anxiety, helps them sleep and start to restore self-esteem and hope. They also gain a much-needed sense of belonging.
Ourmala started at Hackney City Farm, which continues to give essential support and, for our clients, a calm green oasis of welcome. Today, from our base at the farm, new branches of Ourmala are developing in other parts of London.