For Co-Owner Anna, Hope Bound Collective has been a long dream, born out of her journey of heartache and healing. Becoming a yoga practitioner in 2011, Anna quickly noticed the remarkable benefits one receives from mindful yoga practice, but she herself was caught in a war with her body, mind, and heart.
As a survivor of sexual exploitation and abuse, Anna found herself as a young adult alienated from her body. She battled fiercely with feeling in control, her body caught in the conflict between embodiment and dissociation. Her fight transpired into an eating disorder that emerged at a young age and self-harm through over exercising. For Anna, contempt towards self was her norm, and manifestation of kindness seems like an anomaly for a select few.
When Anna first began taking yoga classes, she had little visceral feeling, and she felt separate from her body. Her dissociation was through the roof. Her body and her heartfelt utterly estranged.
Anna attests that a curation of yoga and talk therapy saved her life, her yoga teachers and therapist were kind navigators of her story. They empowered her with practical tools to repair and heal. Slowly Anna regained freedom and autonomy. As she grew into a kind and empathic relationship to her body, she recovered from the eating disorder and addiction to exercise. Anna discovered that kindness towards our entire selves is possible.
Anna’s healing journey that led her to pursue becoming a 200-hour level yoga teacher through the Kunga Yoga Lifestyle Teacher Training in 2014, then onto completing her Master’s in Social Work in 2016 and then in 2018 receiving her 300-hour training in Kunga Yoga Therapeutic Essentials Teacher Training, taught at The Wilmington Yoga Center.
Like Anna, many survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trauma are at war with their relationship to their bodies. Trauma and abuse disturb our cadence and rhythm of harmony. It inflames our core as a sexual being and distorts the goodness found in rejoicing within our bodies. When abused, we are no longer able to regulate ourselves. Our experience is not ours; we are taken hostage by the abuser and often forced to perform at their will. Often survivors of trauma dissociate to survive the multiple experiences of abuse and trauma. It only takes one instance of harm to damage one’s soul for a lifetime.
Despite our circumstance, at Hope Bound Collective we believe healing is possible. Yoga and counseling, like many services, are just a tool, but you already have everything you need inside of you to heal. Our brains are designed to recover and restore places that have been damaged. Studies show that trauma-informed yoga and counseling can help rebuild a healthy connection with your body. You are brave even to be reading this paragraph.
We look forward to working with you. Never underestimate the power of one step forward, my friend.