Yoga Tool To Mend Trauma

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. May 4, 2018
Updated: 11:39 a.m. May 4, 2018

In an effort to promote positive mental health and a sense of community, Toronto Beyond the Blue (TBTB) collaborated with Healing Heroes for a community yoga session at police headquarters on May 1.

A group of people leaning to one side with an outstretched arm
Nutritionist Erin Moore and the class perform an extended side angle pose

York Region District School Board high school teacher Dilnaz Garda is the TBTB president. Her brother, Constable Darius Garda, who was diagnosed with PTSD and other mental health issues, took his own life in 2016.

“This group emerged after my brother’s passing and me wanting to do something proactive in his memory,” said Garda. “Trauma yoga is something that channels my grief in a constructive way. This organization provides support and resources for police officers, civilian members and other families.”

Garda said trauma yoga is an extremely useful tool.

“It is effective at releasing deep-held and unresolved trauma, thereby reducing anxiety and improving mental well-being,” she said. “It’s not to be taken lightly. It’s not a practice that you can just go into and reap the benefits. It’s a holistic way to spend 30 to 45 minutes. It can be done in the mornings as a nice way to start the day or at the end of the day to decompress.”

A group of people with their arms raised
Dilnaz Garda, a founding member of Toronto Beyond The Blue, practices yoga
A group of women clasping hands
Participants had fun with a pose before getting started at the event

Chief Mark Saunders and Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack attended the session to lend their support to the organization and bring awareness to the importance of mental health.

TBTB is an independent organization committed to understanding and supporting the joys and struggles that are unique experiences in a life of law enforcement.

Toronto Beyond The Blue organizes many events. The next event is Lt. Col. Dave Grossman speaking about The Bulletproof Mind, the most comprehensive mental health training to help you survive a deadly encounter. For tickets to all upcoming events visit Beyond the Events and Workshops page.

Visit the  Toronto Beyond the Blue website

A woman laying on her back with her hand on her chest
The yoga session begins with mindful breathing
TPS crest watermark