November 13, 2015
The Yoga Service Council & Omega Institute Publish First White Book in New Series
Yoga Service White Book: Best Practices for Yoga in Schools Now Available on Amazon.com
RHINEBECK, NY – The Yoga Service Council (YSC) and Omega Institute for Holistic Studies today announced they will publish a series of white books to establish best practices in the field of yoga service. The first book in the series, Yoga Service White Book: Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, is the work of 27 of the nation’s leaders on yoga in schools and is now available on Amazon.com.
“We are tremendously excited for the opportunities that this series of white books holds for making progress on our shared goal of helping to mainstream the practices of yoga and mindfulness in school systems, veterans’ facilities, prisons, and other social institutions,” said Rob Schware, president of the Yoga Service Council.
The intention of each of these Best Practices Guides is to be a resource for those who wish to share yoga practices in a way that is safe, effective, and positioned in a broader social context; in touch with the relevant research; and respectful of the many intersecting realities found in any social setting, including the need for skillful relationship building within institutions.
“Yoga and service have always been core components of Omega’s offerings and continue to serve as transformative tools toward our personal and collective growth and well-being,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega. “Over the years, an ever-widening network of people and organizations that share our deep commitment to service have enriched our community. Through this experience we have learned that the power of working together is much stronger than walking the path alone,” concluded Backus.
“As leaders in the yoga service field, we have a responsibility to offer schools the most effective, sustainable, and inclusive programming possible,” said Jennifer Cohen Harper, board vice president of the Yoga Service Council and coeditor with Traci Childress of Best Practices for Yoga in Schools. “No matter how hard individuals work, when we work alone, we work with blind spots, and many of us are working alone. Coming together as a community, to share and learn from one another, allows us to serve all of our students from a stronger foundation and to hold one another accountable.”
This first publication, Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, considers practices from several perspectives, including individuals sharing yoga within their school; administrators of schools who are interested in incorporating yoga into the curriculum (or are being approached by those interested in doing so); and yoga teachers who teach (or want to teach) in schools.
“Ultimately, we hope this collective work benefits both the teachers and students, and we hope it is the beginning of more dialogue both within the yoga in schools field, and with other allied professionals,” concluded Harper.
Twenty-three contributors and four reviewers of Best Practices for Yoga in Schools committed to an 18-month process of reviewing existing research and responding to surveys, which culminated in a working meeting at Omega’s Rhinebeck campus in July 2014.
The partnership of the Yoga Service Council and Omega Institute began in 2009, when Omega offered space for a group of yoga teachers to come together and talk about ways to support those who worked with vulnerable and underserved populations. The YSC emerged from this initial gathering and offered the first annual Yoga Service Conference at Omega in 2011. As a result of the shared commitment to yoga and service, the YSC and Omega decided to formally partner in 2014 to bring yoga and mindfulness practices into the lives of more individuals and communities who have limited access to these vital teachings.
The second Yoga Service White Book will address yoga for veterans.
About Yoga Service Council (YSC)
The Yoga Service Council is a collaborative community that welcomes yoga and mindfulness teachers, therapists, social service providers, educators, health professionals, researchers, and all others who share our mission and vision. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to maximize the effectiveness, sustainability, and impact of individuals and organizations working to make yoga and mindfulness practices equally accessible to all. YogaServiceCouncil.org
Yoga Service Council contact: Jennifer Cohen Harper, Jenn@YogaServiceCouncil.org
About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org
Omega contact: Chrissa Pullicino, ChrissaP@eOmega.org
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