Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Suzanne Jones

Suzanne Jones and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Yoga

Suzanne Jones is a professional yoga instructor concerned by the disparity in access to yoga practice as a powerful tool for empowerment and recovery. YogaHOPE was created to facilitate access to yoga and meditation education specifically for women experiencing debilitating life transitions those establishing independence from domestic violence, self-sufficiency from homelessness, recovery from drug addiction, or rehabilitation after mental illness. Sue recently wrote an article about empathy and yoga titled, Exercise Your Empathy.

She writes, "...when I was in the darkest time of my life and planning my one shot at doing something right (ie. removing myself from the world via swallowing a butt load of pain killers) I happened to stumble into a yoga class. And as I learned how to really breathe and concentrated on how to move my body in class and pay attention to how my body was feeling inside, I activated these brain regions. I exercised my empathy...

Because without empathy, we begin to stop being kind to ourselves. And when that happens, we begin to withdraw from others and the cycle of insidious self-destruction begins. Our brains are social organs and in isolation they begin to suffer."
Sub Conference:
Yoga & Empathy



Suzanne Jones and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Yoga




  • 00:00 Introduction

  • (transcription pending)

  • (Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)