“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
I am a big believer in community engagement. A couple of years ago, I was given an opportunity to go to a Street Yoga Teacher training in Toronto. It was before I became a yoga instructor, and while I was still contemplating the impact yoga was having on my life. It was awesome! I left that weekend knowing that I wanted to give something back to the community that I am a part of. It was my hope, that by taking Street Yoga, that I would be able to make my community a better place. Flash forward two years later and the Street Yoga training is coming to Kingston!!!!
The Street Yoga training provides you with trauma-informed training, so that you can teach kids how to connect with themselves in a positive, healthy manner. It allows youth to see their bodies as a source of strength, rather than a place of fear. Street Yoga initially started working with youth who were facing homelessness. As they began working with these students, they discovered that homelessness was just one layer of the barriers these youth faced on a daily basis. Many of these youth were dealing with abuse, drug addiction, parental neglect, death of a family member, incarceration, and so on. What they discovered was that these kids needed a tool-kit that could be accessed anywhere, at any time. Yoga and mindfulness being the perfect tool for this.
It would be naive to think that these issues do not impact the youth of our community. In the 2013 10-year Municipal Housing and Homeless Plan, Kingston is one of two communities that were invited to join a pilot initiative with the Federal Government called Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness. It was said that 1 in 4 shelter users in Kingston are youth (under 25).
I strongly believe and have witnessed first hand the power that yoga has to transform lives. I have no doubt in my mind that if we were to take yoga to the streets and genuinely commit to helping our youth, we can make a huge difference in our community. If it is true that with each positive change to an individual, the 10 closest people to them will experience a positive change as well, then we are making a HUGE impact in not only our community but the world as well. If we can inspire others to see their worth and show them loving compassion, they will spread that message along and continue the ripple of change. All it takes is one small pebble to make major ripples in the water.
For more information on Street Yoga or to register for this training, please go to http://streetyoga.org/
Olivia is a recent graduate of the 200HR Yoga Teacher Training at Janati Yoga School. After learning firsthand the impact that yoga can have on your life, Olivia knew she wanted to explore this path further. Over the years, she absorbed as much information as she could. In 2013, she took the Street Yoga teacher training in hopes of being able to offer more to the youth she serves through her role as Youth Worker. This training left her wanting more. When the opportunity came to do the teacher training, she knew she could not pass it up.
Olivia is a mom to two boys, and because of them she wants to make the world a beautiful place. She strives to lead by example, and do her best to maintain a yogic lifestyle. She has dedicated a large portion of her life to empowering others, especially some of our most vulnerable members of society. It is her hope, that she can help others find their authentic selves. Olivia believes we all have an important role to play and that being able to bring her passion for life and yoga to a greater audience is her own contribution to society. She is looking forward to growing and learning with you. Namaste.