Yoga class to raise awareness of sexual assault

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Stop the violence, break the silence. 

I once was, lost, afraid, hurt, and abandoned.

These are just a few heartfelt messages created by survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault.

"It's something that just plays over and over in your mind," First Step, Program Coordinator, Kim Fagan said. "You try to go about your day to day business but its hard and you can't move past it."

To help move past it, First Step has teamed up with, As I Am, a Wichita Falls yoga studio to use the practice of the art as a way to show victims a way to escape and empower.

"My intention is to create a very safe, warm, cozy space for people," Yoga instructor, Cassie O'Brien said. "I think when people come into an environment like that, they really just want more of that especially after they've experienced trauma."

The goal is to show victims how to overcome the trauma they have experienced by learning how through yoga, and the calm and controlled movements that promote the body and mind working together.

"Even though everybody's trauma is different we are sensitive to the fact that after you have experienced trauma you might feel violated so re-empowering and making sure we say that you get that power back in this safe space is kind of how we like to approach it," O'Brien said.

A first of its kind event Thursday will allow sexual assault victims to work on yoga skills and be able to connect and share experiences with others.

"It's hard to talk about, it's hard to hear, but the more that we can talk about it, the more healing that can take place and the more that we can educate the community," Fagan said.

There will be two yoga sessions Thursday afternoon.

The first will kick off at 12 p.m. and the second at 1 p.m.

Both classes will be at the MSU Sikes Lake Center.

Those who are interested are asked to register by clicking this link.

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