Bringing Yoga to Everyone | Omega

Bringing Yoga to Everyone

Bringing Yoga to Everyone

Yoga service teachers bring yoga to trauma survivors, at-risk kids, cancer patients, incarcerated adults, and others in underserved communities. Here, their students share what yoga means to them. Join the 6th Annual Yoga Service Conference, May 19-21.


  • A student at The Samarya Center says, "Ever since I walked into the Samarya Center to check out the Life After Loss yoga class—what feels like a million years ago—I was inspired by my teacher to think outside the box. A yoga class for grief that didn't assume the participants needed restorative poses? Radical, indeed!"

    Courtesy of Samarya Center founder Molly Lannon Kenny

  • Qing, a Bent On Learning student, says, "Yoga makes me feel good about myself. I feel calm and I can control my anger when I'm angry. I use my breathing technique to help me concentrate and not get frustrated."

    Courtesy of Bent On Learning cofounder Anne Desmond

  • H.S., a graduate of the Yoga, Food & Body Image Intensive offered by Eat Breathe Thrive™ says, "I have been healing from my eating disorder for several years. This weekend helped me find a community in which I can both receive support and support others in healing. Shame about my disordered eating has kept me isolated for far too long."

    Courtesy of Eat Breathe Thrive™ founder Chelsea Roff

  • A.B., of the Prison Yoga Project, says, "Now that I'm out, I wanted to let you know that I am practicing yoga every day. It really helps me to calm down and helps me to deal with my addiction issues."

    Courtesy of Prison Yoga Project founder James Fox

  • A peer support specialist for the Veterans Administration says, "I am an Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, and mild traumatic brain injury. The Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Practice Guide helped me deal with my symptoms and I found out that I like to do yoga and meditation, two things I never thought I would do. Thank you for this program. It helped give me life again."

    Courtesy of Give Back Yoga Foundation cofounders Rob Schware and Beryl Bender Birch

  • A 3rd grade student of Little Flower Yoga says, "When the yoga teacher walks in the room, I say a big 'Oh yeah!'"

    Courtesy of Little Flower Yoga founder Jennifer Cohen Harper

  • Jessica Gershwin, a Little Flower Yoga teacher training participant, says, "Yoga provides my students with so much joy and much needed relaxation. Not only do they learn important skills for emotional regulation, but they have fun in a safe, noncompetitive, judgment-free environment. For most of the kids I teach, yoga is the best part of their day. They beg me for more at the end of every class!"

    Courtesy of Little Flower Yoga founder Jennifer Cohen Harper

  • A participant in yogaHOPE Trauma Informed Mind Body Program, Haiti, says, "Sometimes we think we are guilty when something bad has happened. It feels like I want to die, but thanks to this training, I now have become strong and able to help others. This training has given me a chance to live again."

    Courtesy of yogaHOPE founder Sue Jones

  • A patient in the John Theurer Cancer Center Kula for Karma class says, "I really appreciate this yoga class because there are days where I would think, 'let me just stay at home.' Here at the hospital, I find it to my pace. My muscles aren’t as sore as they would have been if I wasn’t doing it. I come out more relaxed than tired."

    Courtesy of Kula for Karma founder Geri Topfer and executive director Penni Feiner

  • J.F., a first grade student in a Yoga 4 Classrooms school, says, "I used to get really angry, but now I know I can calm myself down if I just take a deep breath. Sometimes I need to do a few of those!"

    Courtesy of Yoga 4 Classrooms founder Lisa Flynn

  •  A teen in the maximum security unit of the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center says, "I was getting ready to flash on my probation officer, but I centered myself and remembered to breathe."

     Courtesy of Prison Yoga Project founder James Fox

  • A participant in the Urban Sangha Project says, "I feel different during yoga, because the bad things that I got on my mind, they go away for a minute."

    Courtesy of founder Leslie Booker

  • A high school teacher comments on the Niroga Institute yoga program, "The benefits of the yoga program are priceless. The classroom environment is quite settled, much less hectic and stressful than before the program. The kids no longer pose the real threat of being viewed as 'walking time-bombs' as their general demeanor has mellowed greatly."

    Courtesy of Niroga Institute founder Bidyut "B.K." Bose

  • From a participant in Childlight Yoga

    Courtesy of Childlight Yoga founder Lisa Flynn

© 2014 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies


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