Recently, Jaime, Street Yoga’s Program Manager was asked the question, “Could you let me know a little bit more about your theoretical approach to this kind of work? What I’m hoping to find out is a bit more of the politics behind the work that you do. I recently did a training with Yoga Outreach in Vancouver and they come from a social justice / systemic approach to social inequality. Where is Street Yoga coming from in terms of their understanding of youth homelessness?”
But Trauma is backward looking, and often fails to appreciate the savviness that many of the youth we have served possess. Resilience, then, becomes a more forward looking approach, and we have found that our training approach builds specific resilience-focused protective factors.
Mark Lilly, Street Yoga founder and president, is a mindfulness and communication trainer who has taught workshops all over North America to widely diverse audiences including physicians, nurses, social workers, police officers, therapists, mental health workers, justice workers and countless others. Mark is the founder and Board President of Street Yoga, an internationally recognized non-profit which provides yoga and mindfulness classes to at-risk populations in Portland, Seattle, New York and San Diego.
For Mark, yoga is an everyday survival skill and a practice which he, and Street Yoga, have shared with thousands of youth, their families and professional caregivers. Personally, he still lives with the tremors of traumas past and realizes the delicate line between suffering and awakening. His teaching emphasizes cultivation of the best within each of us by using the authentic stories and experiences that illuminate our being and drive our teaching to places of deep truthfulness. Through it all, he brings a lightness and love to his teaching that is rooted in humility, grace and joy.
* top illustration via Mirall Lifestyle