Brittany Piper and Em Geeves met when they were 9-years-old, and they were friends who felt more like sisters from the start. They had sleepovers almost every weekend, shared clothes, stayed up late talking on the phone, and snuck out of their parents’ houses to meet each other.
Then, during their freshman year of high school, Brittany’s brother Dominic was killed in a car accident. “My parents woke me up to tell me there had been an accident involving Dom and Brittany was asking only for me,” says Em. “They told me what happened while we were in the car on our way to Brittany’s house. As we rounded the corner to get to her house, I jumped out of the car, sprinted to her house, and ran through the door. Brittany was curled up on the couch, but opened her arms when she saw me.” However, their relationship faced a lot of strain—and the friends eventually grew apart.
Luckily, the girls reconnected on the five-year anniversary of Dominic’s passing, and shared stories of high points—and low ones—over the past few years. When they realized they had both experienced sexual assault and psychological trauma—and had processed what happened to each of them so differently—their reunion inspired deep healing, as well as an understanding that healing happens in unique ways.
A few years later, Em and Brittany were just as close as they were as children, and together they curated a women’s retreat called On The Mend—an effort to bring trauma survivors together with the intention to heal from the inside out. “We created this retreat so women could experience recovery in community,” says Brittany.
Their next retreat is March 28-31 in Idyllwild, California. Click here for more details, and to apply for a 20% discount Scholarship (deadline: February 18th.) If you can’t make one of their retreats, try one or more of these poses, all of which will be incorporated into the yoga taught on retreat. “Each of these postures has a different level or variation designed to keep practitioners safe and comfortable,” says Em.