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.


and whole chld health and wellness. Thanks for the nod, Shant Generaton. You are truly leadng the charge.

Feelng honored to be ncluded amongst these champons of youth yoga and whole chld health and wellness. Thanks for the nod, Shant Generaton. You are truly leadng the charge.

Bummed that Karma Kds Yoga s not ncluded….we’ve been teachng over 4,000 kds each year, for over 10 years. We’ve traned over 1,300 adults to share yoga wth chldren around the world though our renowned Chldren’s Yoga Teacher Tranng, Teen Yoga Teacher Tranng Intensve, Yoga n the Classroom, Yoga n the Preschool Classroom, and Kds Yoga En Espanol. We offer publc classes for nfants through teenagers and ther famles n NY’s only yoga studo dedcated just to chldren (and opened our second studo last month). We brng yoga nto daycare centers, preschools, elementary, mddle and hgh schools, both publc and prvate. We offer free and communty classes every week for those that can’t afford yoga. Karma Kds Yoga won the gold Mom’s Choce Award for best kds musc n 2010 for ther “Come Play Yoga” album. Karma Kds Yoga holds 94 classes a week. Personally, I teach 18 classes a week.
We are sharng the yoga love hard core!

    Of course Karma Kds s on our lst, Shar! It’s a loooong lst and we are attemptng to nclude all the groups we know, so t wll come n several parts. We’d lke readers to get a sense of each group, so we dvded the lst, otherwse t’s completely overwhelmng.


Thank you, Abby, for spreadng the word and sharng your passon so freely and wth so many! We are happy to be workng wth everyone here and wth so many more out there for better lves for kds and ther famles today and every day after. My yog tea fortune the other day says t all: ‘Together we can do what we can never do alone.’ :-)

    So true, Lz. The new paradgm s all about workng together, rght?!

What a Great Idea! Ths s a fantastc lst! :)

We offer Yoga4Teens Instructor’s Gude, ebooks, and tranngs to help adults become better prepared to teach teenagers yoga. Thanks to Chldlght Yoga for hostng the next tranng n March.

Thanks, Chrsty. I added your URL to your comment. Please add your facebook and/or twtter URL f you have them.


Thank you for sharng ths. Wonderful to read. Ths week I wll start teachng at the local school 1 hour a week, every week. Havng done a few sessons the school are delghted to now have me n weekly. I am dong ths for free because of how strongly I beleve n the power of yoga for chldren – to enpower them n ths fast paced and over demandng world they are beng brought up n. I complete my teacher tranng n Aprl and hope I can share yoga wth many more chldren n my lttle part of the hghlands of scotland!

    Fantastc, Mar! Yes, volunteer teachng s a wonderful way to get started. I love t. The hghlands of Scotland sound so nvtng!

Aloha Shant G.

Across the Pacfc here n Hawa we are seeng change one student, one teacher, one parent at a tme!! Brynne also dd an apprentceshp years ago wth Abby when she was connected wth Yoga Ed. SO much Love and Respect for the amazng work she s dong!!!

Stretch Your Imagnaton s Hawa’s premer non-proft organzaton specalzng n creatng sustanable yoga programs wthn Hawa publc schools. Our Yoga Educators teach students, teachers, and parents yoga poses, breathng exercses, and medtaton technques as a means of reducng stress and mprovng concentraton, self-esteem and overall health and academc achevement.

Stretch Your Imagnaton’s Founder, Brynne Caleda also recently produced a Chldren’s Yoga DVD:

Omolulu’s msson s to support chldren, youth, pregnant women, new mothers, and famles n cultvatng multgeneratonal physcal, mental, and emotonal health through the practce of yoga. Through nstructonal meda, Omolulu empowers ndvduals and famles to make nformed choces for a lfetme of health and wellness.!/omoluluyoga

    H Brynne~~ Thanks for sharng your nfo. We’ve ncluded Omolulu on a follow up lst comng soon;) Aloha, dear one (2;)

Abby, What a wonderful resource for people seekng gudance on how to mplement yoga programs and learn more about how yoga helps ALL chldren. If there are readers that would lke to fnd out more about how yoga s utlzed to help chldren wth specal needs (or as I lke to say wth “dfferent ABILITIES,” please share my nfo. As a pedatrc occupatonal therapst n schools, I work wth students and teachers, educatng them on the abundant benefts yoga brngs to educaton; helpng ALL chldren learn n the least restrctve, most nclusve envronment.

    Fantastc, Allson. We wll certanly nclude your work n Part 2. Love the way you say dfferent abltes. That s such the truth, rght!?

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