Youth-at-risk talks yoga

youthatrisk1

The school year is wrapping up and along with it, our teachers that have been sharing the practices of yoga and mindfulness with youth-at-risk in area schools are finishing their classes too.

Across the board, the kids are sad. For many of these kids, this once a week yoga class is one of the few times that someone shows up consistently for them. Not because they are paid, not because it is their job but just because the volunteers care and want to share a practice that might be the start of self-care and well-being for these kids.

Connection creates resilience.

One of our teachers, Rachel Adams, shared some of the letters that the youth she works with wrote for her, on their last day together. All of the letters had a tone of wistfulness, of longing. And all of the letters applauded Rachel as a person and as a teacher. They were all sweetly encouraging of her as a person, which is extraordinary, should you stop to consider the challenges that these children deal with each day.

A number of the letters included drawings of Rachel teaching and a student practicing.

In the interest of confidentiality, we won’t share the school location or the names of the students but we will share some of the sentiments:

“I really liked the yoga you did with us! My favorite part was the final relaxation pose. I feel sad we won’t be able to do yoga anymore. But I’m sure you will make some other kids happy.”

“I think you did real good at teaching us. Thank you for being nice. You are a good teacher.”

“Thank you for leading us in yoga. You helped me relax and be calm! I enjoyed doing yoga because it made me peaceful.”

“I love yoga. It soothes me and gets rid of my stress. I wish you would stay. I love being on the mat with you.”

Light A Path is committed to sharing the tools of mindfulness and yoga with area youth-at-risk. The volunteers that work in this field report incredible satisfaction with their efforts and classes. We would love to expand our programming to all middle schools and high schools in western North Carolina.

Please consider supporting this work- there are so many ways that you can help to light a path- perhaps with your own unique gift or talent, perhaps financially, perhaps by volunteering or maybe some combination of these. Visit us online at www.lightapath.org for more information or to donate. Thank you.

 

 

Advertisements

Big News!

LAPWe are thrilled to announce that Light A Path has officially received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS! Light A Path is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting personal, communal and ecological resilience by connecting service-minded yoga teachers, somatic therapists, and body workers to populations with limited access to holistic resources.

Light A Path currently has programs of yoga, running, weight training and sound healing in area prisons and detention centers. Light A Path also works with youth at risk, in partnership with area high schools and middle schools and as well, with area homeless. Light A Path continues to grow, adding new programs for under-served populations. We are here to facilitate wellness for all and welcome the opportunity to work with both those wishing to serve as well as those wishing to receive.

All donations, both financial and in-kind, are now tax-deductible. We would love it if you wanted to celebrate this important recognition of our work with a donation to support the mission of connection creates resilience.

Light A Path acknowledges with great gratitude the many, many people who have worked to bring this mission to fruition and continue to work each day, showing up in so many ways. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inmates talk about yoga, 2

prison yoga project 2

Sharing the practice of yoga and mindfulness with the incarcerated is one of the many ways that Light A Path works to create resilience through connection. The recent pilot program at the Buncombe County Detention Center was deemed a success and inmates can look forward to yoga each week now. If you would like to understand the impact of this program, we have another letter from a participating inmate to share. This letter is shared with the permission of the author as well as the Detention Center. It is unedited in any way.

4.5.16

Attention: Ms. Val/ Julia/ Paul/ Eddie

Yoga

Yoga has really helped me in several different ways. One, well two ways combined is “grateful and appreciative”. What you folks have shown us (inmates) was and is a true and pure heart. To take the time from yall’s busy work schedule, and to come and allow us (inmates) to partake in a lesson, and guide to a healthier life style, that is a gift in itself. I am grateful for all of you and your guidance and selfless time. I really appreciate you all and giving us a brief but profound experience in the form of yoga. I am a medically discharged Air Borne Army Ranger S.F.C. I served 7 years and I believed I had discipline to the core, but these last four weeks have proved me wrong. I am learning new things, I still have a hard time closing my eyes, due to my surroundings, but I still focus on yall’s teaching. I put forth what Uncle Sam has taught me, I pay real close attention to my instructors. No pain No gain. The breathing is natural we were taught that in my special forces training. But yoga is more intense and more in tune with the mind, body, and spirit. I had reserves about joining the program, I do not care what others think of me or what I do, but I do care about people such as yall, cause yall care about our health and our understanding something new. Other things I’ve learned through yoga and the ones teaching the class, is that it does indeed allow one to sit back and relax, to ease tension in the mind, the body and the soul. It (yoga) allows one to watch the world and understand life, not just to live it, but to become one with it. Yoga is something that I’m going to pursue, but the one thing I am really grateful for is I’ve met four (4) outstanding people whom I can call Teachers and friends. So Ms. Val/ Ms. Julia/ Mr. Paul/ Mr. Eddie I wish to express my sincere thanks. I am in your debt for your kindness.

May you all be blessed as you’ve blessed me.

Sincerely, J.B

Light A Path is honored and humbled to support the work of matching practitioners of the somatic arts with populations in need. Please feel free to share this post, to support this work.

[photography by Robert Sturman, shared from the Prison Yoga Project]