Yoga session for hostages

Global trend of yoga in aid of the hostages spreads from Tel Aviv to London


A yoga session held in Israel in solidarity with the hostages (Photo: Barak Radunsky)

v A yoga event in central London will be dedicated to hostages held in Gaza.

Yoga enthusiasts are set to gather on 27 February for a group yoga session to raise awareness and funds for the Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

Yoga instructor Sarah Drai said she decided to organise the event when she saw yoga sessions in aid of the hostages in Tel Aviv, which sparked a global trend.

From Sydney to Paris, people have participated in yoga sessions for the hostages, and Drai said she “thought that London had to have yoga for the hostages too”.

The event has also been inspired by hostage Carmel Gat, 39, who was using yoga to support other captives, according to released hostages. An occupational therapist from Tel Aviv, Carmel was abducted from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 while visiting her parents.

Her mother, Kinneret, 69, was killed and Carmel was kidnapped along with her sister-in-law Yarden Roman Gat, 35 and her three-year-old daughter Geffen. Yarden and Geffen have since been released.

Since the war started, there has been a reported uptake in yoga practice, both in support of the hostages and as a means of dealing with the trauma of the attack.

Drai, who is from France and has lived in London for 15 years, said yoga had helped her to “stay sane in a moment when the world was insane”.

Drai has family in the south of Israel, and for weeks after October 7, “it was only when I was teaching and practising yoga that I focused on something other than the war, and I put my phone and the news down.Yoga has really helped me.”

However, organising the event hasn’t come without its challenges. Yoga events are often hosted to raise awareness for social causes but Drai said she had received “backlash” for the event, which detractors called “too political”. 

“I wanted to do it in a non-Jewish environment to show how big this is and how it is not a Jewish thing”, Drai said.

She secured a central London venue, and those who had booked were “either my good friends or they are Jewish”.

Drai is asking people to make a £20 donation to the Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

The yoga session is designed for all abilities and participants are being encouraged to bring their own mat.

To book, go to

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