~Stories from the mat~

We always do a check in with our programs after they have completed. We get nuggets of feedback from program coordinators and volunteers often. They always inspire us to keep moving forward, NO MATTER WHAT! We hope you enjoy… All three programs listed below are hopeful to have us back…your dollars support THIS. Thank you!

 

“The kids seem to love yoga. One little girl in particular who started off shy and in the corner was beaming ear to ear and very talkative after the class. It seemed to remove her shell if only for that temporary moment. When we ended class the kids were in good moods and excited for us to come back the next week. I think the ongoing program gives them stability and something to look forward to, as well as small goals to achieve when they nail a pose. This builds confidence and also gets them interacting in a positive environment. The benefits go much deeper than what they learn during class, as they can bring these skills with them anywhere they go, they don’t need anything but their breath and body to tap into this state of calm. Helping them understand how to tap into it is what our goal is with this practice.” – J.C.

… they are adorable but they never stop moving and doing the asanas and jumping and trying to be by my side the entire class… We laughed a lot, we made fun of my accent (which is very strong-I’m Peruvian by the way-) we played a lot, and they learnt how to breath, learnt to do sun salutations, to chant OM, etc etc, and they loved it!! At the end of each class they asked for more, and they asked me to come tomorrow again! All of them gave me a lot of hugs and kisses too, so I receive lots of love.  

What make me laugh is that after massaging feet at savasana, one of the kids that didn’t want to take off his shoes, came to me “do you know what you are doing? you are touching feet! that’s disgusting! look at those feet!” that made me laugh a lot, he was in shock, he couldn’t believe what I was doing. So I told him they are only feet, the same as mine, and if they were dirty I just wash my hands and that’s it; and that when you do something with love you enjoyed everything you do, even touching feet!  – G.O.iprep

 

…last night’s yoga class with SOS was really great..  I couldn’t go to sleep afterward… going through so many thoughts and emotions and feeling so much for these kids. Still processing, volunteer~ J.B.

Program Director:

When we were first approached by Yoga Gangsters in June of last year (2012), it was as if the stars had aligned. They were looking for youth in Broward County and we just happened to have a group of children at that time that were in need of some serious empowerment. As with all new activities, our kids were skeptical at first, but quickly learned that their bodies and minds could do things that they didn’t know they could. A “rowdy crowd” soon turned into a calm and peaceful group that were able to do some introspective thinking on what was going on in their lives and how they could change things for the better. We saw noted changes in behavior, relationships, and teens that were using some aspects of meditation in their daily lives and interactions with others. 

After that first session was over, the kids were knocking on my door asking when the Yoga Gangsters were starting a new class! I’ve had employees asking for a class of their own.  Even little ones that were too young for the class wanted in on it. A seven year old in the last go-round couldn’t even sit still on his mat for introductions in the first class, but by the third class he was concentrating on the instructors and practicing poses. I’ve seen him at my office showing off his yoga skills. Since that first meeting, we’ve run three rounds of classes and we hope to continue that trend. The Yoga Gangsters program has been beneficial to our population in many ways, as I’m sure the interaction with our children has been for the instructors that have worked with them.

I see so many children come through our foster care agency that have experienced trauma, neglect, poverty, violence, etc. My hope is that they will all be able to experience the empowerment that comes with participating in a Yoga Gangsters outreach program.

To donate via check:

Po box 771978, Coral Springs, FL 33077

Monthly recurring support, select “make my payment a recurring payment”

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