“Yoga makes me feel thankful about my body. Sometimes yoga makes me feel like the summer or a big wave at the beach. I am blessed to say I love yoga,” said one participant. Another girl commented, “For me, yoga means to calm down and think thoughtful things. I learned that “myself” is best, and I am mighty enough to respect all parts of my body.”
Another participant shares what yoga means to her.
In 2008 YHF partnered with Communities in Schools (CIS). By 2010 we touched the lives of 94 low-income elementary school girls in after-school and summer programs. Since then hundreds more have taken the classes, and the program’s scope has broadened to include boys as well.
“If only we could capture the essence of their smiles when we show up each week. The thing is, the kids want basic simple things in life....my girls want grapes, stickers, crayons, a coloring book, a field trip to a yoga studio (or anywhere for that matter). They really enjoy practicing partner yoga and playing yoga games,” commented YHF Teacher Lori Wiley.
This quarter, YHF teacher Colleen Leonardi is leading a class in which kids will use yoga as a practice of empowerment. They will take pictures and create a book that showcases each student's personal yoga practice and sets forth their personal definitions of empowerment. These are a few, among many techniques, that the YHF Yoga in Schools program believes will help children manage the many challenges in their lives.
The aim of the program is to teach children how to relax; to focus the mind; to discover their physical, mental and emotional strengths; to feel good about themselves and what they do; and to include more adults in their lives who care about them.
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