All of this work comes as a culmination of my drive to be of service. To connect fully with the human experience and to share not only the suffering and pain but also the joy and strength. When we see that we are not alone in our sadness, that others too, experience this it opens up the awareness that, as Pema Chodron says - It is not My pain but The pain of being alive. Through this awareness perhaps we can come to Compassion.
I picked up a camera when I was thirteen because I wanted to witness and communicate with and to the world. It didn't feel right to me to share pictures of people suffering unless I could actually do something about that. Which led to my work below and back again to most of the work you see now.
Gina de la Chesnaye serves as key faculty for numerous organizations in the mental health, human rights, and contemplative based trauma and resiliency fields. She offers mindfulness based exercises to at-risk and/or incarcerated youth and their support staff in NYC through The Lineage Project. Gina is the Trauma Resource Director of The International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights where she facilitates mindful movement, yoga and meditation, a component of the Contemplative Based Trauma and Resilience Training as well as The Portable Calm, an on-line 8-week protocol for humanitarian aid workers, clinicians, social workers and caregivers working on the front-lines of trauma. Through Second Response, which tends to the emotional & psychological needs of people exposed to trauma - providing body-centered methods to relieve the harmful effects of stress, distress & trauma - Gina offers Care for the Caregiver programs as well as PLAYshops for children. She is an alumna of the 2016 Harvard Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program with a global cohort representing six continents. She also offers Contemplative Care classes to the Columbia School of Social Work and Stony Brook University as a visiting lecturer. And has recently been invited to be a Fellow of The Mind/Brain Center for War and Humanity as well as a Mental Health / Wellness faculty member of The Canadian International Medical Relief Organization where she will help to research specific mental health issues associated with trauma and offer mind body practices for the survivors and caregivers of the war in Syria.
Gina is also a contributing writer and photographer to The Huffington Post, NY Yoga + Life and YogaCityNYC and has written numerous articles on yoga, meditation, martial arts and Buddhism. She is currently co-teaching a 300 Hour Yoga, Meditation and Dharma Teacher Training at The Three Jewels in NYC. Dedicated to humanitarian relief, she has spent several years focusing on trauma and resiliency work with children in orphanages, schools, IDP camps and monasteries throughout Nepal with the volunteer organization 108 Lives. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her two daughters and has been a competitive kick boxer for 17 years. She also has a beloved 80 lb. boxer dog named, HorsePuppy.