Using yoga to heal complex trauma

In 2001, Ginny and Kerry Dennehy received the heartbreaking news: their son Kelty had committed suicide.

  • Dec. 11, 2015 12:00 p.m.

— Kevin Underhill

In 2001, Ginny and Kerry Dennehy received the heartbreaking news: their son Kelty had committed suicide. The tragic loss led Ginny and Kerry to start the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, which is dedicated to providing mental health resources to youth.

Eight years later, the Dennehy parents went through another tragic loss. Their 23-year-old daughter Riley suffered a heart attack while in Thailand. Ginny said that Riley was finally making progress to overcoming the grief of losing her brother when tragedy struck.

“After losing a sibling, Riley was lost and didn’t know where to turn,” Ginny said. “She struggled with an eating disorder and addiction as she tried to soothe her pain but then she found yoga and she really blossomed into the beautiful person she could be.”

Riley discovered the therapeutic powers of yoga and was in Thailand furthering her yoga studies when she died. Ginny herself turned to yoga as a therapeutic exercise following Riley’s passing and in her daughter’s name, set up the Breathe Fore Life Scholarship in 2013. The $1,000 scholarship is given each year to a yoga teacher who is furthering their training to help those suffering from trauma or grief. Ginny, who makes the final decision, said the winner always makes her think of her daughter.

“I don’t know how it happens, but the winner somehow reminds me of Riley in how they are really looking to make a difference,” Ginny said.

Nicole Marcia, a Vancouver-based private yoga instructor, specializes in teaching yoga to people going through addiction and trauma. She said yoga therapy is a good complement to other types of therapy because it focuses on the mind and the body.

“People want to be able to feel safe in their own body,” Marcia said. “As a yoga therapist, I don’t really do talk-therapy but yoga is most effective when it’s combined.”

Marcia will be leading a session on trauma informed theories and techniques at the fourth annual Victoria Yoga Conference Feb. 5 to 7. She is excited for the event because of Victoria’s welcoming yoga community.

“Sometimes yoga can feel like it’s only for certain people,” Marcia said. “At the Victoria Yoga Conference, there is something for everyone and that’s what I love about it.”

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Dec. 15. The winner will be announced conference held at the Victoria Conference Centre.

 

 

Just Posted

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sidney group offers free, fun ‘trishaw’ bike rides to seniors

Physical disability and mental obstruction no barrier to trips around town

Student Voice: Vic astronomer tracking the New Horizons path

Local astronomer part of team studying New Horizons spacecraft

Second non-stop flight added between Prince George and Victoria

Starting June 23 flyers will have the choice of flying in the morning or afternoon

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read