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Yoga for at risk youth

Jun 28, 2019

Last Friday we ran a special donation class to support The Yoga Foundation: YOGA for at RISK YOUTH project.

We held a restorative class with YOGA NIDRA, followed by Chai and a chat to finish off the evening.

The Yoga Foundation is a non-profit organisation that continues to run programmes based on funding raised by donation and support from the team and community, and these funds are specifically in support for At RISK YOUTH.

The Yoga Foundation logo

About The Yoga Foundation

We design and deliver evidence-based yoga programs to people living with mental illness and experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from accessing yoga.

The yoga (meditation, mindfulness, breath tools, postures) is designed to reduce anxiety and depression and improve quality of life. We give people in hardship the tools they need to help themselves lead a better life.

The Challenge

More than 75% of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25 and suicide is the leading cause of death of young people aged 15-24: we need to ensure a variety of robust support options are available.

For the last ten years The Yoga Foundation has been teaching successful programs designed to reduce anxiety and depression and we’ve built expertise in this area. We’ve worked closely with at risk youth and seen firsthand the positive impact yoga has on their self esteem, emotional regulation and stress management.

Interventions during adolescence, in particular, are critical to building a foundation that supports health and wellbeing throughout adulthood. Yoga, mindfulness and meditation can be transformative but yoga’s often dismissed as a hobby or a luxury. It’s not. Providing evidence-based tools to support mental health is a necessity.

The Solution

Young students that we have met through our programs have often experienced shocking trauma. With your help we can support more people like Hannah:

Hannah, a fourteen year old girl (name changed) witnessed the rape and murder of her sister and had lost her ability to cope. We worked with her at a specialised high school (for students who do not thrive in mainstream schools) and saw a marked difference after a couple of months.

Her teacher told us that Hannah was finding her way back to peace and calm through her yoga practice; she began to connect with a group, build trust again, cope with complex emotions that had threatened to engulf her. Yoga provided her with simple tools to regain a sense of agency and a sense of felt control. Trauma-informed yoga can have a wide range of neurological and physical health benefits, restoring neurological pathways in the brain affected by trauma.

Research shows that yoga can be effective among adolescents in improving body image, managing emotions, promoting optimism, reducing anxiety, and addressing broader clusters of risk behaviours, including eating disorders and obesity. (Gender and Trauma: A Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice: Implications for Policy and Practice, Rebecca Epstein, Thalia González).

The Plan

Our Yoga for At Risk Youth Project targets young people who are experiencing disadvantage, trauma and mental health challenges. The eight week programs teach young people strategies to manage stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.

There is demand for our programs, but not always the funding: $25,000 would mean The Yoga Foundation could reach 150 deserving young people through our existing partnerships with organisations that work with at risk youth.

We teach people to fish – and them hand them their own fishing rod.

A huge thank you!

Thank you to all who could make the class and/or donated to this cause. I am really grateful for all of your support and The YOGA Foundation is too. I hope you all enjoyed the Restorative class and had some time to Renew and Resolve and Rejuvenate! Many thanks Lou xo

If you would still like to contribute please click below and the closing off date is June 30th.

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