Yoga Journal Blog: Samadhi & the City

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Taking It To The Street

streetyoga.jpg After practicing yoga for a while, people often get the urge to bring their practice to others. But not everyone wants to become a certified yoga instructor, or even charge for classes. Some just want to teach others who need yoga, but don't have access to it in one way or another.

Mark Lilly, a Portland writer and software engineer, started to feel this way when he started practicing yoga in 2001, and shortly afterward began volunteer-teaching yoga to homeless youth. He liked it so much that he founded Street Yoga, a program dedicated to bringing yoga classes to kids who live on the streets, in shelters, and in foster care.

The Portland-based nonprofit program has a mostly volunteer staff that goes around to places like homeless youth resource centers, drug treatment programs, runaway centers, and juvenile detention halls and teaches yoga to help kids keep warm, take care of their bodies, deal with the stress of being homeless, and feel a sense of community.

The program has been so successful, that the organization now does Street Yoga teacher trainings around the country. There is one happening in San Francisco next weekend, from May 9-11, at It's Yoga Kids Studio on Ruger Street. At the training you'll learn how to teach yoga to homeless youth. The program includes regular teacher training as well as role-playing, interpersonal exercises, talks about service, and training around boundaries. You don't need to be a yoga teacher to do this program—anyone can do it. At the moment, there are only a few slots left, so if you are interested in doing it, sign up right away.
And check out this awesome video Street Yoga has on You Tube!


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