Yoga Transforming Lives
The Urban Yogis are an integrated program of Peace Is A Lifestyle and LIFE Camp, based in South Side Jamaica, Queens. The organizations were formed to address the rising levels of senseless violence occurring within the community and surrounding neighborhoods. Led by Erica Ford (New York City Crisis Management, Queens Division), the yoga program was inaugurated with five young adults from South Side who grew into dedicated yoga and meditation practitioners.
Each of the core team members have been personally affected by tragedies due to gun and other types of violence. To find a remedy to the violence and to try to effect a change, these young men and women have spent the past years engaging in community activism, which has included learning the transformative tools of yoga and meditation. Inspired by their experiences, they have created an initiative to bring these tools to their community. The Urban Yogis are now all teaching yoga in the New York City Public School system, in detention centers, at the Brooklyn Yoga Club, and at St. Philip's church. Through their work, they are inspiring other young, at risk youth to choose alternative pathways towards positivity and peace. The Urban Yogis Summer Intensive completed its third year with close to 40 students participating.