Monadarling’s Blog

Yoga for street Kids

Posted on: June 14, 2010

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Forget Yoga Chic, Yoga as a humanitarian Effort

The Street Yoga mission gives youth and their caregivers the tools to overcome early life trauma, through the sharing of life-building mindfulness and wellness practices grounded in the ancient healing principles of yoga.

Street Yoga teaches yoga, mindfulness and compassionate communication to youth and families struggling with homelessness, poverty, abuse, addiction, trauma, and neurological and psychiatric issues, so that they can grow stronger, heal from past traumas, and create for themselves a life that is inspired, safe, and joyful.

Street Yoga offers children and families a free, portable means of caring for themsleves that no one can take away. Through the teaching of free yoga, meditation and wellness classes we seek to help homeless youth increase their physical, emotional and spiritual strength, stamina and flexibility so they can better meet their own core needs. We work closely with those service providers striving to help youth secure safe housing, nutritious food, accessible health care, employment, clean clothing, educational choices and human dignity.

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Katie Arrants from the Street Yoga website

Food and Shelter are Not Enough

While many people are immediately supportive of Street Yoga’s work, others initially express skepticism: “Why give yoga to street kids? Why not focus on getting them shelter, food, and jobs?” Unfortunately, comments such as these express a deep misunderstanding not only of our work, but also of what a person needs in order to be a successful member of society with a truly hopeful future.

As an organization we strive to partner with numerous other service providers who are already doing excellent work helping youth meet their most basic needs. If we were ever to observe youth not being appropriately served, we would of course speak up to obtain these services for youth or (as is the case with the Living Foods program, which teaches youth basic menu-planning, healthy food choices, and cooking skills) even provide those services ourselves. However, our focus remains on yoga because by maintaining this as our primary directive, we reinforce the concept that food and shelter are indeed NOT enough for a young person to develop into a whole and productive adult.

Most youth have arrived on the streets after traumatic experiences such as physical abuse, sexual assault, harassment for their sexuality or religion, abandonment, residential treatment or incarceration, mental health crisis, and addiction. To think that street youth with such tremendous personal issues could grow into healthy, safe adults with the mere provision of the basic necessities is misguided.

Read more…


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