"A student will tell me in a little girl's voice, 'I can't do that,' and I say, 'You've been through so much more...this is nothing.' Before you know it, they're doing it." Within a few months, they're loving the pose and asking for challenges. For many women, the time spent on their mat is the first time, possibly in years, they feel safe and can breathe freely. A student can also choose not to try a pose. "Most survivors have not been given a choice. Now they have a choice to say 'No,' and it's perfectly ok. That's a breakthrough in itself. I used yoga in the past to bring my sanity back, bring me back to function, to get up and give my daughter breakfast and get her to school after a night of being knocked around. Today, yoga brings me dignity of carriage as well as physical strength. I can walk into any place and feel like I belong. Or, if I'm not comfortable, I have the strength of mind to say to myself, 'No, let's go.' Yoga nourishes me...it literally saved my life on a daily basis. If I didn't have yoga, as a professional musician, vocalist and composer, and coming from the deep 'hood of Brooklyn, I would have been into serious heavy drugs, dead, or in jail. Yoga makes me feel like I belong. Across social strata, race, gender, culture, yoga gives me a solid place to be in the world. I belong here."
- DK, survivor and Exhale to Inhale teacher