In January, Charlotta will be travelling to Sierra Leone with Vic, a psychologist to train a group of young men and women from the Yoga Strength centre in yoga therapy for trauma.


They are already trained as yoga teachers and so will be given some basic tools to further support their fellow citizens in relieving the trauma that they have experienced over the last 20 years, including devastating civil war where children as young as 7 were given cocaine to kill or maim pregnant women and other citizens in what became known as the blood diamond war. Then recently the country was ravaged by the unforgiving Ebola virus, which killed 4000 citizens in horrific deaths.


Sierra Leone is the 3rd poorest country in the world with 72% of the population living on $1 a day, despite sitting on one of the biggest reserves of diamonds in the world.

Winston and his friends have found yoga helps to overcome the nightmares and memories as well as physical debilitation after these experiences. They would like to train further in order to bring more yoga to Freetown and thereby ensure a peaceful future, with a resource for conflict resolution.


Please donate to help us with this project!


The cost of this trip is minimal as Charlotta is only bringing one assistant and neither of them are taking payment for the work.

This is the cost breakdown:
Flights £980 each
Accommodation £700 each
Food £200 each
Resources £400
Admin and misc. £450

TOTAL – £4610 (raised so far £1300)
left to raise – £3310

Any extra money will be given to Winston’s Yoga Centre to facilitate more training opportunities.



Clinical Applications of Yoga for the Pediatric Population: A Systematic Review

This article aimed to explore clinical applications of yoga among the pediatric population. 34 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nonrandomized controlled trials (NRCTs) were selected that included yoga or yoga-based interventions for individuals aged 0 to 21 years. Clinical areas for which yoga has been studied include physical fitness, cardiorespiratory effects, motor skills/strength, mental health and psychological disorders, behavior and development, irritable bowel syndrome, and birth outcomes following prenatal  yoga. Most published controlled trials suggested benefits  but results have to be described as preliminary due to the low quantity and quality of trials.

2009 Birdee – Clinical Applications of Yoga for the Pediatric population – a systematic review

Movement Therapies and Relaxation Techniques and Management of Health Conditions Among Children

This article explores the use of a series of movement therapies and relaxation techniques for management of health conditions among children.  The research looked at use of movement therapies and relaxation techniques in children for treatment of various health conditions, as reported in the 2007 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and also examined variations in use across various sociodemographic categories. Yoga was used primarily  the control and reduction of anxiety and stress (31.4%), asthma (16.2%), and back/neck pain (15.3%).

The research suggests that early training on movement therapies and relaxation techniques can be seen as a useful tool that can help prevent or manage certain health problems. The article states that, in addition to an examination of their role in primary prevention, the use of movement therapies and relaxation techniques should be explored further to determine how these therapies work with respect to specific health conditions.

Unfortunately we can’t post this article here due to copyright issues. It was originally published in Alternative Therapies magazine. If you would like further information about the article, please contact us at the Foundation.

Yoga as a complementary therapy

This article focuses on the progressive trend toward use of yoga as a mind-body complementary and alternative medicine intervention to improve specific  physical and mental health conditions. The aim is to provide clinicians with therapeutically useful information about yoga, and the evidence
evaluating yoga as an effective intervention for children and adolescents with health problems is reviewed and summarized. The article points out that the majority of studies indicate benefits to using yoga as a therapeutic intervention and show very few adverse effects, though it must be said that many of the studies have methodological limitations that prevent strong conclusions from being drawn.

2010 Kaley-Isley – Yoga as a complementary therapy for children and adolescents – a guide for clinicians

Yoga for depression

This article, from 2004, reviews the research on yoga for depression. It looks at five randomised controlled trials that each used different forms of yoga interventions and in which the severity of the condition ranged from mild to severe. All the trials reported positive findings but methodological details such as method of randomisation, compliance and attrition rates were missing. No adverse effects were reported with the exception of fatigue and breathlessness in participants in one of the studies. Though they need to be interpreted with caution, the findings were that there are potentially beneficial effects of yoga interventions on depressive disorders.

Unfortunately this article can’t be posted here as it is copyright-protected, but you can reach the publisher’s purchase page by clicking here. If you want further information about it, you could also get in touch with us at the Foundation.


Young people explain the benefits

The aim of this exploratory study was to explore how young people explain the benefits of yoga using a qualitative approach. This research study was done with a group of students between 11 and 13, who had been voluntarily attending the after school yoga classes for between one month and a year, although some had previous yoga or meditation experience. The young people described a range of physical and psychological benefits from the yoga classes and responded positively to it being taught in schools. This study also gives a greater insight into the mental health needs of young people and how negative influences, such as stress and pressure, can be reduced.

Morgan Young people explain the benefits of mindfulness based yoga

Research review – children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

This article discusses yoga as a potential tool for children to deal with stress and self-regulate. The author looks at how children and young people are exposed to new demands, standards, and options and to increased pressure to succeed
in school. A central idea in the article is that yoga may help children and young people cope with stress and thus, contribute positively to balance in life,  well-being, and mental health. It presents research literature suggesting that yoga improves children’s physical and mental well-being and that, when used in schools it can help students improve resilience, mood, and self-regulation skills pertaining to emotions and stress.

2014 Hagen Yoga for children and young people’s mental health and well-being research review

Neuroscience, learning and technology

Sometimes the findings of neuroscience can be over-interpreted, and tentative results presented as things we “know” about the brain. As this article points out, “most of what we know about the brain comes from functional imaging experiments that average over many subjects, use technology that is still limited in capturing the rapid and detailed changes that characterise brain activity during even simplest tasks, and that involve environments very different from everyday contexts such as classrooms.” The article looks at some of the literature relating to neuroscience and adolescence. It is quite an accessible approach, and focuses on the conclusions that can be legitimately drawn from the research. The appendixes on “neuromyths” are useful too.

2009 Howard-Jones – Neuroscience Learning and Technology Becta


The developing social brain

This is a very useful paper by Sarah-Jane Blakemore that explores the development of the human social brain. She describes evidence that social interaction plays a critical role in early brain development, and then goes on to discuss recent research demonstrating that the social brain undergoes protracted development and that adolescence in particular represents a period of reorganization of the social brain. Finally, she identifies potential implications of this new research for education policy and for human wellbeing. This work is important for understanding the changes that adolescents are undergoing.

2010 Blakemore – The Developing Social Brain – Implications for Education