Allies in the youth yoga movement: Part 1 - Shanti Generation

Allies in the youth yoga movement: Part 1


Youth Yoga

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.

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and whole child health and wellness. Thanks for the nod, Shanti Generation. You are truly leading the charge.

Feeling honored to be included amongst these champions of youth yoga and whole child health and wellness. Thanks for the nod, Shanti Generation. You are truly leading the charge.

Bummed that Karma Kids Yoga is not included….we’ve been teaching over 4,000 kids each year, for over 10 years. We’ve trained over 1,300 adults to share yoga with children around the world though our renowned Children’s Yoga Teacher Training, Teen Yoga Teacher Training Intensive, Yoga in the Classroom, Yoga in the Preschool Classroom, and Kids Yoga En Espanol. We offer public classes for infants through teenagers and their families in NY’s only yoga studio dedicated just to children (and opened our second studio last month). We bring yoga into daycare centers, preschools, elementary, middle and high schools, both public and private. We offer free and community classes every week for those that can’t afford yoga. Karma Kids Yoga won the gold Mom’s Choice Award for best kids music in 2010 for their “Come Play Yoga” album. Karma Kids Yoga holds 94 classes a week. Personally, I teach 18 classes a week.
We are sharing the yoga love hard core!

    Of course Karma Kids is on our list, Shari! It’s a loooong list and we are attempting to include all the groups we know, so it will come in several parts. We’d like readers to get a sense of each group, so we divided the list, otherwise it’s completely overwhelming.


Thank you, Abby, for spreading the word and sharing your passion so freely and with so many! We are happy to be working with everyone here and with so many more out there for better lives for kids and their families today and every day after. My yogi tea fortune the other day says it all: ‘Together we can do what we can never do alone.’ 🙂

    So true, Liz. The new paradigm is all about working together, right?!

What a Great Idea! This is a fantastic list! 🙂

We offer Yoga4Teens Instructor’s Guide, ebooks, and trainings to help adults become better prepared to teach teenagers yoga. Thanks to Childlight Yoga for hosting the next training in March.

Thanks, Christy. I added your URL to your comment. Please add your facebook and/or twitter URL if you have them.


Thank you for sharing this. Wonderful to read. This week I will start teaching at the local school 1 hour a week, every week. Having done a few sessions the school are delighted to now have me in weekly. I am doing this for free because of how strongly I believe in the power of yoga for children – to enpower them in this fast paced and over demanding world they are being brought up in. I complete my teacher training in April and hope I can share yoga with many more children in my little part of the highlands of scotland!

    Fantastic, Mairi! Yes, volunteer teaching is a wonderful way to get started. I love it. The highlands of Scotland sound so inviting!

Aloha Shanti G.

Across the Pacific here in Hawaii we are seeing change one student, one teacher, one parent at a time!! Brynne also did an apprenticeship years ago with Abby when she was connected with Yoga Ed. SO much Love and Respect for the amazing work she is doing!!!

Stretch Your Imagination is Hawaii’s premier non-profit organization specializing in creating sustainable yoga programs within Hawaii public schools. Our Yoga Educators teach students, teachers, and parents yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques as a means of reducing stress and improving concentration, self-esteem and overall health and academic achievement.

Stretch Your Imagination’s Founder, Brynne Caleda also recently produced a Children’s Yoga DVD:

Omolulu’s mission is to support children, youth, pregnant women, new mothers, and families in cultivating multigenerational physical, mental, and emotional health through the practice of yoga. Through instructional media, Omolulu empowers individuals and families to make informed choices for a lifetime of health and wellness.!/omoluluyoga

    Hi Brynne~~ Thanks for sharing your info. We’ve included Omolulu on a follow up list coming soon;) Aloha, dear one (2;)

Abby, What a wonderful resource for people seeking guidance on how to implement yoga programs and learn more about how yoga helps ALL children. If there are readers that would like to find out more about how yoga is utilized to help children with special needs (or as I like to say with “different ABILITIES,” please share my info. As a pediatric occupational therapist in schools, I work with students and teachers, educating them on the abundant benefits yoga brings to education; helping ALL children learn in the least restrictive, most inclusive environment.

    Fantastic, Allison. We will certainly include your work in Part 2. Love the way you say different abilities. That is such the truth, right!?

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