Street Yoga partners with social service agencies that provide basic needs, treatment and education for the young people facing adversity.
- Carson Home (Pioneer Human Services) is a group home that serves male undocumented youth, between the ages of 12 and 17, who are under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Street Yoga provides a class once per week.
- Cowlitz Tribal Health Clinic provides a range of services, both medical and mental health, to Native American youth and families. Street Yoga provides two classes at Cowtliz, one to younger youth and on to teens.
- Oasis is a confidential drop-in and resource center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) youth ages 14-24 in Pierce County. Street Yoga provides a class twice per month.
- Ryther Child Center provides residential treatment for a variety of out-of-home youth. Street Yoga provides three classes at this site; one class for adolescent boys in treatment for chemical dependency, and two classes for 6-12 year olds recovering from physical and emotional abuse. (Sponsored by the Dickinson Family Foundation)
- Spruce Street Secure Crisis Residential Center (Pioneer Human Services) is a freestanding residence located in the Capitol Hill Community of Seattle. This program provides secure, short-term, non-institutional residence and support services for runaway or street youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Street Yoga provides a weekly yoga class.
From the youth:
Why do you come to Street Yoga? “To have time to work on myself and feel peaceful and I love it. Because I can relax and be myself.” “Because it helps me release stress.”
From site staff:
“I found that after the [Street] yoga session, the therapy session with individual students goes much further. For example, I have a student who has been cutting herself for many years. In the past two years, I have engaged the student through art therapy, group therapy and individual therapy focused on strengths and behavioral changes. In the past three weeks, this student has not cut herself at all. We do our individual therapy session after [Street] Yoga every Wednesday and she is able to achieve a state of relaxation which allows her to increase her capacity for changing these behaviors.”
From the teachers:
“One of the boys came into class with the attitude that he could not do yoga. There were certain poses he didn’t want to try and he kept saying he was too fat to do yoga. With the support and encouragement given by myself and his counselor, he not only tried every pose (even crow pose) he left class saying ‘I love yoga!’” “I always do a check-in and check-out to help give structure to the class. At the end of the check-in, I talk about setting an intention. At the end of one class, during the check-out, one of the boys told me that he used the time in the beginning of class to ask for the ability to have a conversation with his mom that wasn’t so stressful (i.e., this was his intention). He said that he felt so good at the end of class, that he thought he could have a good conversation with his mom when he was feeling like that.”
Street Yoga currently offers weekly yoga and mindfulness classes in Seattle. As of October 2014 Street Yoga no longer holds weekly classes in Portland, OR. Please contact our partner organization Living Yoga for class information in Portland.