Anneke Lucas on Being Sex Trafficked, Trauma, and Liberation (#22)

About the Guest:

Anneke Lucas founded Liberation Prison Yoga in 2014. Aside from her duties as executive director, Anneke trains new volunteer instructors on site. She also teaches regularly at several of the eight facilities where LPY has weekly programs. She conducts trainings and workshops for yoga instructors, mental health professionals and NYC DOC and DOP employees, to bring yoga and mindfulness into work with traumatized populations. Anneke is regularly invited to speak at conferences and universities about the subject of trauma, incarceration, and sex-trafficking. In 2013, Anneke started two groups  at the Woman’s Jail at Rikers Island for survivors of sex-trafficking.

In 2008, Anneke created a 500 Hour Yoga Alliance RYT program for a New York City based yoga studio. From 2011 to 2014 Anneke was director of Prison Yoga Project New York. She graduated from the Screenwrting program at AFI in 1993, published a novel in her home country, Belgium, and wrote many articles about yoga and trauma. She has been working on a book about her childhood, previewed in an article about her work in the prisons.

DISCLAIMER: This episode features graphic content and might be upsetting to some listeners.

In this episode, we discussed:

  1. Anneka being sold into sex trafficking by her mother into a pedophile ring in Belgium.
  2. How the universal drive toward liberation gets corrupted by personal trauma.
  3. How cycles of trauma and victimization function.
  4. The shame that keeps people outside themselves.
  5. Anneke’s experience of Truth and Awakening in a near-death experience.
  6. How Anneke healed from being forced to kill someone as a part of her escape from the pedophile ring.
  7. Living within the paramaters of yamas and niyamas.
  8. The patriarchal regime of science and its impact on our approach to “feeling”. Anneke shares: “Reason without feeling is cruelty, and feeling without reason is insanity.”
  9. Anneke’s connection to her teacher, Yogananda, and her thoughts about gurus in general, and more specifically Pattabhi Jois and her experience being touched inappropriately by him.
  10. The aspect of yoga philosophy that has been crucial to Anneke’s healing process.
  11. Anneke’s take on the difference between dualism and nondualism.
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