There’s A LOT going on in the youth yoga movement and the people and organizations making it all happen deserve some serious recognition. Many of these folks have gone right to the heart of their communities where the need is greatest and developed effective programs that are changing and improving lives by the thousands.
While these visionaries are in the trenches making a difference everyday in the lives of countless youth, the spotlight often passes them over in lieu of the more provocative and sexy side of yoga. In this series of blog posts we want to introduce you to those who are paving the way for a generation of inner balance and mindfulness. We invite you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to their newsletters and blogs where applicable. Let’s use our collective sharing power to give these organizations acknowledgment and appreciation to further their abilities and uplift the movement.
Street Yoga started out working with homeless teens and followed the needs of the community into the foster care system and other programs for abused kids. Over time they branched out beyond youth to the adult caregivers, parents, and others who work with youth on a daily basis. In addition to their community programs they also offer teacher training for those interested in teaching yoga as an everyday survival tool to youth in need. Follow Street Yoga on Facebook and Twitter
The Art of Yoga works with teen girls in the California juvenile justice system. Their program combines art and yoga to build self confidence, self respect, and self awareness.
Headstand works with youth in low income communities. Their curriculum is research based and combines yoga with integrated educational theory and social and emotional learning. Headstand has been very successful in increasing academic achievement while lowering stress levels in the youth they serve. Follow Headstand on Facebook and Twitter
Yoga activist is an organization that seeks to bridge the gap between yoga instructors and their community members in need. They educate yoga instructors and help build connections between them and social service providers, government agencies and communities in need. Much of their focus is on working with the homeless, trauma survivors, at risk youth, prison populations, and persons with drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness or physical impairment.
YOGA for Youth has been supporting and empowering urban youth since 1993. In addition to teacher training Y.O.G.A for Youth implements and manages their programs for the institutions they collaborate with. YFY also provides funding for research and studies on the effects of yoga on youth populations. Follow YFY on Facebook and Twitter
Bent on Learning – Since 2001, BOL has taught yoga to over 12,000 students in NYC public schools. In the wake of the tragic events of 9/11 BOL provided a yoga curriculum that helped children heal and manage the post-traumatic stress that was inflicted upon them. Today, BOL is teaching yoga to students in over 16 schools throughout NYC. Follow BOL on Facebook and Twitter
ChildLight Yoga provides research based yoga programs to children and the adults who work with them. They develop fun programs for babies, toddlers, families and children. ChildLight’s mission is to teach strategies that help children and youth develop resilience, positive perceptions, good health habits and mindful awareness. Follow ChildLight Yoga on Facebook and Twitter
Omazing Kids Yoga offers kids yoga programs in the central Oklahoma area. Angela Moorad is the founder of Omazing Kids Yoga and in addition to teaching yoga she is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a passion for teaching yoga to kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Angela is a tireless advocate for youth with disabilities and is striving to create more opportunities for inclusive yoga programs in her area. Find Omazing Kids Yoga on Facebook and YouTube
Move With Me Action Adventures was founded by Leah Kalish who is also the c0-founder of Yoga Ed.and responsible for the training of hundreds of children’s yoga teachers and school programs throughout the US. MWM combines yoga, play, Brain Gym and other mind-body techniques to help children develop self-awareness, self-regulation, and mindfulness skills. With her team, including writers and teachers, Liz Bragdon & Wendy Piret, she launched a series of kids yoga and movement dvds based on childhood development research, available through their website.. Follow MWM on Facebook and Twitter
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post where we will share more Youth Yoga Allies. If you’d like to see an organization on our list, let us know in the comments below.