Shine Bright – Body Positive Empowerment Workshops

The Cause

I’m Krystal Thompson, creator of The Luscious Life—and a Body-Positive Activist & Yoga Therapist. I spend my days helping folks listen to their bodies and love their bodies through yoga because I believe that every body can do yoga and that every body is beautiful.

I am a full time 500-hour Professional Yoga Therapist and 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with six years of teaching experience. I have been teaching Yoga-Based Self-Regulation in schools since 2013. I have also had the opportunity to offer body positive workshops for teen girls in schools across the NWT, but I know the need is greater. Body image is closely linked to self-esteem. Low self-esteem in adolescents can lead to eating disorders, early sexual activity, substance use and suicidal thoughts. This issue is compounded in the north by a history of colonialism and residential schools.

With your help I would like to develop a more formal program for the NWT called “Shine Bright”, fostering leadership & empowerment for young women to be bold & authentic leaders, ultimately creating a movement of redefining what is beautiful, valuable and possible.

Objectives for the participants:
Understand the pressures that society puts on us to look a certain way and why we should reject this idea.
Appreciate what their bodies can do and all the good things it does for you.
Practice Body Loving by listening to their body and responding to their body’s needs.
Lower stress and feel empowered in their body.
Learn tools for mental health and positive body image.

This will be achieved through:
Discussion of what body image is
Discussion of our culture and society definition of ideal body and how this affects our body image and what we can do to change it
Body mapping exercise
Gentle body movement through yoga asana
Guided relaxation

Who Will it Benefit?

The NWT is a relatively youthful and steady growing population. Indigenous and non-indigenous teen girls will be the main beneficiaries of this work and special attention will be given to make the programming available and accessible to indigenous teen girls, like traveling to their community or hosting them in Yellowknife at my yoga studio, as well as translating key words into Tlicho and other indigenous languages.
The benefits for the teen girls will include:
Improved self-esteem
Increased information about body image
Decreased likelihood of developing an eating disorder
Teen girls in particular who are unhappy with their bodies and don\'t seek healthy nutrition information, may develop eating disorders. \"Eating disorders\" are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or binging and purging. 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.
Increased physical activity
NWT residents 12 years and older who reported moderate or higher physical activity decreased from 54% to 41% between 2003 and 2011.
Improved overall mental health
Creating safer and anti-bullying culture in the schools

Which will also hopefully lead to:
Lowered STI rates, substance abuse, suicides and suicide attempts
The rate of STIs in the NWT is approximately twelve times higher than the national average especially with youth and young adults, age 15 to 24. Rates of substance abuse, suicide and injuries are higher in the NWT than national averages. On average, females are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for a self-inflicted injury than males – 17 versus 6.3 per 10,000. NWT youth and adults, age 15 to 44, were twice as likely to commit suicide, than residents age 44 and older. Between 1998 and 2007, the suicide rate for those aged 15 to 24 was 3.9 per 10,000.