Did you know that every time you come to a Yoga District class, you are helping to share the benefits of yoga with diverse communities far beyond our Washington, D.C., studios? At Yoga District, we believe that every being deserves the holistic benefits of yoga, and that’s why proceeds from our classes go to Yoga Activist, our non-profit outreach arm.
With each class you attend, you are helping to train Yoga Activist teachers to bring yoga to military personnel, individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals facing addiction, trauma survivors, and various other communities across the country. With each sun salutation you practice in a Yoga District studio, you are helping us facilitate the sharing of yoga and yogic meditation, philosophy, and breathing exercises as practical tools for self-empowerment, self-healing, and coping. With each mindful breath you take as a member of our community, you are contributing to the growing field of yoga service and helping Yoga Activist identify and share techniques that create real, measurable change in people’s lives.
The last year has been an exhilarating time of growth for Yoga Activist—and we want you to know just how much we’ve been able to accomplish with your help. We hosted three outreach teacher trainings in the Washington, D.C., area, offering aspiring and experienced yoga teachers tools for sharing yoga with all people in a culturally sensitive, trauma-sensitive way. Of the many participants in the trainings, thirty attended these trainings with help from our full or partial scholarships.
We’re not always able to reach teachers in person, and so we’ve put a great deal of effort into our web-based resources at YogaActivist.org. On the site, we provide simple, accessible sequences of poses and breath work specially tailored to be accessible to different kinds of communities. And we also help teachers track and measure the results of their work with surveys both for students and for volunteers assisting in classes. Perhaps most importantly, we launched our new online database, allowing us to quickly and efficiently connect teachers with communities seeking yoga. The database, as well as training scholarships, were in large part made possible by a generous $5,000 grant from The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.
Since the creation of the new YogaActivist.org site, we’ve seen an increase in programs overall—particularly our National Mat Program. You might have noticed a fellow student dropping off his or her gently used mat at one of our Yoga District studios—or maybe you’ve contributed a mat yourself. Last year alone, we distributed hundreds of mats to yoga outreach programs locally and nationally. The mats travel with teachers to all kinds of free, yoga service classes so that lack of supplies never keeps anyone from practicing.
Finally, in keeping with our mission to include everyone in the benefits of yoga, we partnered with public libraries to offer open community yoga classes. Our most recent additions were at the Georgetown, Petworth, and Rosedale public libraries in D.C., and with your support we hope to expand the library yoga program regionally and nationally. So if you’re interested in starting a class at your local library, we want to hear from you! Check out our program set-up guide or be in touch at [email protected]
Yoga belongs to all of us. Your dedicated practice at Yoga District is helping to spread the gift of mindfulness and to change lives for the better. We are so grateful.