Yoga instructor offers free classes to ease Beirut blast trauma

STORY: This Lebanese yoga instructor

is offering free sessions

to help people cope with the

memory of 2020 Beirut port blast

as the second anniversary of

the explosion approaches

Location: Naas, Lebanon

(Serah Barakat, Yoga instructor)

"With the fourth of August coming soon, we decided as Ohana space, as the entire family, to offer free classes throughout this week just to give people this motivation, this space to remind them that they should come back and continue their healing journey. It is not something that happens overnight, it's a journey, it's a long journey and especially when we are remembering this hard moment, it's always nice to remember our healing moments as well and not just the intensity and the darkness of it but the work to get us to the light as well."

The explosion was caused

by ammonium nitrate

that had been unsafely stored

at the port since 2013

The blast killed more than 215 people

and wounded some 6,000

and shattered swathes of Beirut, leaving

tens of thousands of people homeless

(Valeria Spagnolo, Yoga class participant)

"August 4th is approaching and what has changed this year is that I am tired of being angry, I don't feel like I want to go to protest. Serah class is going to ground us, is going to offer us a sense of community that we all got used to. And I think this is the way that I have chosen to cope with the blast this year. I don't want to be angry, I don't want to feel these intense emotions. I want to shift towards something else that is actually being together, breathing together, healing together."