Posts Tagged ‘accessibility’
New Leaf Yoga Foundation will be in Montreal on May 10 – 12 to present a yoga for youth workshop. Reaching In, Reaching Out is a weekend workshop exploring the techniques and skills needed to teach yoga to youth within diverse and sensitive environments, including:
- Practical ways to lead yoga classes that suit the needs of youth
- How to teach from a place of inquiry in order to foster more inclusive spaces
- Methods to engage young people and manage challenges in class settings
- Strategies for cultivating self-care
This workshop is geared towards yoga instructors seeking to bring yoga to adolescent populations, as well as those interested in learning how to foster inclusive spaces within yoga studios. It can also be a useful tool for individuals interested in making yoga more accessible in general.
Participants should have a 200-hour yoga teacher certification, although there may be exceptions. New Leaf offers yoga programs to youth who are facing barriers due to various forms of marginalization and trauma. They highlight making yoga accessible and relevant to young people and offer yoga within a trauma-sensitive and anti-oppression framework.
For more info about New Leaf, watch this IAYB interview with founder and executive director, Laura Sygrove.
Reaching In, Reaching Out: Yoga for Youth in Diverse Spaces
Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12, 2013
Naada Yoga, 5540 Casgrain Ave, Montreal
Inclusion and accessibility have become hot topics in the online yoga world. But is talking about it really enough? And what are some concrete ways to make traditional yoga spaces more inclusive and accessible? In this guest post, blogger Earth Energy Reader explains why diversity training for yoga teachers and yoga teacher training programs might be the missing piece.
For several years I worked as a spiritual caregiver at a Level V hospital trauma unit in Washington, DC primarily dealing with African-American patients who were involved either with urban violence, poverty, drug addiction or dealing with HIV. Before that, I was busy teaching prominent Turkish politicians English as a second language in Istanbul and Ankara. As a Canadian of Bengali-Muslim heritage, growing up in small-town Quebec, speaking 5 languages, having Hindu, Buddhist and Catholic friends of the family and being exposed to those traditions from the get-go, to say that I am used to cultural and ethnic diversity would be an understatement. Culture shock and cultural adjustment are a daily necessity.
In the past year, I have steadily been watching various discussions online about the lack of inclusion in the yoga world (assuming of course, that those excluded communities want yoga in the first place instead of being told that’s what they “need”). It’s a far cry from that fall evening back in 2002 when I first stepped into a Bikram yoga studio and found myself as the only person of color in a roomful of pony-tailed golden boys with wash-board abs and a host of tall, lithe Caucasian trophy wives discussing their Filipino nannies in the change room. While I applaud all these initiatives and discussions and think these issues of inclusion, diversity and accessibility are now being talked about more than ever online and off, I still think there is a long, long way to go. Continue Reading
This holiday season, give the gift of yoga by supporting the Acorn Fund. The Toronto-based fund offers annual grants to local organizations who help share yoga with those who would otherwise be unable to access the practice. It was formed with the intention of stimulating the Toronto yoga community’s interest in sharing resources for philanthropic concerns.
The Acorn Fund, which is coordinated by the good people at Yoga Community Toronto, also “places priority on supporting projects that seek to demystify, legitimize, and naturalize yogic practice and thought in the public sphere.” This includes community health, rehabilitation, employment and transition services, and public education, among other services. Past recipients of Acorn Fund grants include the New Leaf Yoga Foundation and the Centre of Gravity Peacemakers.
And do you want to give the gift that keeps giving? Consider using the Acorn Fund as a model for engaged yoga philanthropy in your own community!
“Come back to life,” invites the tagline for this Yoga Outreach video which is making its way around the Internet. The clip is a promotion for a 30 day Yoga Outreach challenge that’s raising funds to deliver healing and life-affirming yoga programs to people who can not directly access these resources.
Yoga Outreach is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization that provides free yoga in the correctional system, women’s shelters and addiction recovery centres in British Columbia. All the yoga classes within these facilities are taught by volunteer teachers.
There is an old Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Tiina Veer, founder of Yoga for Round Bodies, is living this wisdom. Not content with simply offering yoga classes in her hometown of Toronto, Tiina has created a teacher training program to give others the skills to teach safe and effective classes for bigger bodies. In this email interview, Tiina talks about her experience as a round bodied yoga practitioner, her vision for a practice that is accessible and available to every body, and empowerment through anatomical knowledge.
What is Yoga for Round Bodies?
Well, now it’s about two things. First came the Yoga for Round Bodies classes (and occasional countryside retreats) offered in my community, downtown Toronto, which I am still teaching. The classes motivated me to evolve it further by filling a much-needed gap: training yoga teachers in Yoga for Round Bodies.
The Yoga for Round Bodies (YRB) classes are about Hatha and Restorative yoga practices specifically geared toward the rounder-bodied student. Only practices that can be modified for everyone are included. Yoga props are well-used tools in our classes, both for Restorative practice, and for creative pose modification. Offering YRB classes provides an opportunity for people who otherwise may not come out to yoga classes at all the chance to have a safe, fun and non-judgmental environment in which to practice and explore yoga.
The YRB teacher certification program is about preparing yoga teachers to better meet not only the round students who attend their “regular” yoga classes, but further to offer Yoga for Round Bodies classes within their communities.
What do you mean by “round” bodies?
Our cultural concept of “round” (fat) is clearly warped. Women think of themselves as fat if they don’t look exactly like the airbrushed and PhotoShopped models and celebrities that are impossibly thin even before the digital alterations. One of Cindy Crawford’s famous quotes is, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.” As we all know, there are multitudes of women who consider themselves fat who are nowhere close to being so, and in fact can even be slender (or even emaciated, as with many of the eating disorders) by comparison. There are women who are simply svelte and voluptuous – in a Marilyn Monroe kind of way – who consider themselves “fat,” but where yoga is concerned, they don’t have a belly or thighs that impede their practice at all. Continue Reading