The Urban Yogis are a group of dedicated yoga and meditation practitioners from the Baisley Housing Projects in South Side Jamaica, Queens, an area of NYC that is at risk to extreme gun violence. Each of the core team members has been personally affected by tragedies due to gun violence. To find a remedy for the violence and to try to effect a change, these young men and women have spent the past year 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 in order to create an environment of healing, transformation, reduction of stress, and inner and outer peace.
The Urban Yogis teach yoga as a tool for personal and communal transformation.
We have found that the practice of yoga and meditation allows us to release negative energy, which leads to a reduction of violence and makes it possible for us re-create constructive community relationships. It has given us an appreciation and understanding of the fact that we are all different types of people yet live in this world together. By engaging in these practices in our community and making them our own, we can see that we are creating conditions for peace.