WKU Graduate Uses Yoga to Supplement Therapy Practice
- Author: Thursday, October 15th, 2020
This year, WKU Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program alumnus Darrian Evans (’20) started learning the skill of Sankofa Yoga to supplement her mental health therapy practice in her hometown of Louisville. “In the wake of social injustice that is happening across the world, in the U.S and especially in the Louisville area, it is important that we begin to use tools to heal our communities and yoga is proven to be one,” Evans said.
While widely practiced, Sankofa Yoga has roots in many indigenous places around the world, including India and Africa. Yoga in Sanskrit means to “unite” or “yoke” and overall, the practice focuses on the unity within the mind, body and spirit of an individual. The yoga program is sponsored by Louisville’s It Takes a Village, an organization created to support the transition of disenfranchised men and women into becoming productive members of society.
“During the practice of yoga, we not only practice Asana (posture) we practice pranayama (breath) components as well. Group discussion is focused on what thoughts, physical sensations or feelings may come up for the individual practicing,” Evans said.
While Evans uses the practice to aid those in need, she can also speak from experience in how yoga has benefitted her life. “Personally, the results of how yoga works with the mind, body and spirit has been a huge impact on changes in habitual lifestyles,” Evans said. “Yoga has taught me to be intentional about how I make contact with others and how I connect with myself.”
Evans plans to continue yoga use as a therapeutic tool to help her clients heal unresolved trauma and to assist others in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “This program initiative ties into the work that I currently do as a recent graduate in the field of mental health therapy,” Evans added. “I utilize yoga with my clients to relate to their recovery journey from substance use.”
Currently, Evans offers free yoga lessons to the Louisville community and is in the process of applying to a Ph.D. program to further her studies in the mental health field.
For those interested in participating in Evans’s Sankofa Yoga classes, you can engage in the experience via Zoom. Additionally, please follow Louisville’s It Takes a Village to remain updated on upcoming events – you can find their Instagram page at L.I.T.A.V and their Facebook at Louisville’s It Takes a Village.