Yoga mats donated for ‘Yolanda’ victims


A donation drive for used or new yoga mats for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda has been launched in a bid to gather equipment to be used in teaching survivors as well as aid workers various trauma release exercises (TRE) with the help of a US-based therapist.

Therapist and coaching expert, Chris Balsley, is currently teaching first responders and other frontline aid workers various TREs to enable them to manage post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) that may be experienced by Yolanda survivors.

These exercises are based on the work of Dr. David Berceli and taught to over a million people all over the world.

TRE has effectively helped victims of the recent earthquake in Sichuan Province in China and victims of violence in Beirut, Somalia and Afghanistan.

The exercises are mainly taught through ECHOyoga Shala, which is a regular workshop for people who want to de-stress and achieve quality life through meditation, exercises and the feeling of one-ness with their bodies.

On January 25, ECHOyoga Shala will conduct a yoga back care workshop from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to be led by Anne Contreras, who has been practicing yoga since 1995. She is trained in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar yoga in Indonesia, Thailand and the US and is a certified teacher.  Her teaching style meshes Chinese medicine and her decades-long Vipassana meditation practice. She has a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Sofia University in California.

She has been sharing her counseling experience at ECHOyoga Shala, where she also teaches classes and offer counseling for individuals, couples, families and children, by appointment.

The back workshop is designed for those suffering from scoliosis and lower back stiffness and pain and teach students the daily regimen for the management and prevention of back pain.

The workshop teaches students a sequence of poses to slowly and gently relax sore back muscles to decompress make the spine more flexible, creating more space for movement and flexibility.

The donation drive for yoga mats, meanwhile, is set on January 11 to 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Human Capital Development (HCD) Manila office and ECHOyoga Shala (behind Rockwell) in Kalayaan Avenue, Makati. Volunteers for the TRE will also be trained before deployment to Yolanda-hit areas.

To volunteer, e-mail HCD Manila at or by calling 0906-2256181 or 0947-9389834 or visit


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