Using yoga to heal victims of sexual abuse



KUALA LUMPUR: Sandhya Manoj, one of the country’s most renowned yoga teachers has set up a non-profit organisation aimed at healing and empowering victims of sexual abuse through art and yoga.

According to the India-born dancer, Persatuan Abhaya Malaysia aims to increase awareness of sexual abuse through dance and yoga productions, and to offer trained yoga teachers to help establish shelters for victims of sexual abuse.

“‘Abhaya’ means ‘no fear’ in Sanskrit. And we aim to inspire different artists to support Abhaya’s goal, which is to support the sexually-abused through art.”

Sandhya said this at a press conference at the Temple of Fine Arts here today to announce her solo Odissi dance production, premiering here next week.

Sandhya has gained an extensive reputation internationally as a professional Odissi dancer over the years.

The organisation has already invited several women’s shelters to the Odissi dance production, entitled “Radhe Radhe.”

The production will premiere on July 10, 6.30pm, at the Shantandanda Auditorium at the Temple of Fine Arts.

“We’re working with several NGOs and shelters – which we can’t name publicly due to safety concerns,” said Sandhya.

“We can say though that we are working with the Women’s Aid Organisation.

“The shelters send their women to us to learn dance and yoga, which we hope will empower them.”