Steamboat group seeks to bring yoga to victims of domestic violence | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat group seeks to bring yoga to victims of domestic violence

Give the gift of yoga through The Big Love Project this holiday season. (Courtesy photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Walking into a yoga studio can be an intimidating experience.

Molly Cuffe, Steamboat Springs resident and avid community member at the Out Here Yoga studio, had an idea a few months ago to eliminate the intimidation and any barriers of entry for women who need yoga the most. She called it The Big Love Project.

"I think that many of us have experienced toxic relationship at one point in our lives and although the scars may not be physical, it leaves an undeniable effect on the psyche, Cuffe said. "It wasn't until I discovered yoga and my community of yogis that my world began to change and I began to heal and The Big Love Project was born."

How to help

• Give the gift of yoga by donating gently used yoga clothing and mats to the Out Here Yoga studio or by sponsoring a yogi.

• Donate to The Big Love Project at GoFundMe.com/big-love-project.

Going through life's challenges, Cuffe said, is sometimes when yoga is needed the most.

She hopes to give that gift to others through The Big Love Project, removing barriers like finding the right mat, clothes, membership dues and more.

"It's so that people who need the support aren't intimidated or have reasons not to walk through that door and experience all the practice has to offer," Cuffe said. "I know the power of healing this community can provide, and I want to share this experience with others who could truly benefit."

An active and frequent practitioner at the Out Here Yoga studio, known for its Baptiste style of hot yoga, Cuffe approached Shannon Crow, the studio's co-creator and founder with the idea a few months ago.

It quickly became a reality after Cuffe solidified benefiting the nonprofit Advocates of Routt County for the project.

Domestic violence, Cuffe said, is something that's rarely talked about, yet each year, more than 10 million men and women in the U.S. are subject to domestic violence with 85 percent of those victims being women. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in four women have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.

There were 140 reports of domestic violence to law enforcement in 2017 — up from 127 in 2016 — and according to Advocates, the numbers are continuing to rise.

"It’s time to shine some light on this shadow," Cuffe said.

The Big Love Project is one of the service components to the Out Here Yoga studio's new program "Warm Your Holidays Challenge," running from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, which includes components of service, asana as well as vision and goal workshops.

The Steamboat Springs community also can give the gift of yoga this holiday season by donating gently used yoga clothing and mats to the Out Here Yoga studio or by sponsoring a yogi. Contribute a donation for The Big Love Project at GoFundMe.com/big-love-project.

"I believe yoga has the power to make the world a better place," Cuffe said.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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