Philly Free! Teen Yoga: Transformation Inside and Out

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
an 8 week foundation lesson series free for Philadelphia teenagers focusing on yoga and nutrition. throughout the 8 weeks, the 20 -25 participants will learn about the breath, connecting breath to movement, explore all categories of yoga poses, and learn how to sequence their own yoga practice at home. Teens will become more flexible and fit, become more being and body centered vs body image centered, and become more and more stress free.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
i would love to provide each participant with a quality mat during the 8 weeks and gift them the mat upon graduation, encouraging them to practice at home. each mat costs $48, 25 mats would total $1,200. the remainder of the mat costs would be covered by the Rotunda.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
i started teaching yoga to youth at an afterschool program. we would play outside before homework time, and the transition was rough. Yoga helped me to focus and shift energy, so i taught them simple breathing and movements, they loved it, and we played with more postures when the weather was bad.
i started teaching yoga to adults when i was working in prisons in and around baltimore. a lifer’s group had yoga classes, but recently lost their teacher. when they heard i had a regular practice, they made me their teacher. i learned so much about liberation from them.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
philly teens deal with so much. while working with the Urban Nutrition Initiative, mentoring teens in 3 philadelphia high schools, i came to see how stressful their lives can be. not because of teens issues like gossip, and clothes, but becuase of friends being gunned down, parents being evicted, etc. i would love to share yoga to help teens find more and more stress free living. providing teens with a way to take care of their bodies on their own would be oh so important in our obesity epidemic.