"After a Street Yoga class I feel lighter, more free and less tense."

- Street Yoga Youth Participant

Dear friends,

2015 is coming to a close and at Street Yoga we're reflecting on an amazing year of growth and change.  As many of you know, in August of 2015 we updated our mission statement: 

Street Yoga builds capacity in youth through yoga and mindfulness to overcome suffering and cope with trauma.

We accomplish this in two ways:
  1. Offering trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness classes at organizations that serve youth who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
  2. Equipping professionals who work with youth with trauma-sensitive tools for integrating yoga and mindfulness into their work.
For this year's Exhale Joy Campaign, we'll share the research-based benefits of yoga and mindfulness for youth, as well as explain why we are focusing on ACE's, what they are, and why they matter for our communities.  Along the way we will also be sharing updates from our weekly class and training programs.  

As you read, we hope that you will consider what you can give to support Street Yoga's work and vision. In the green panel along the right side of this email you will find five levels of giving-- so you can see how your gift supports this important work.  Thank you for helping make yoga accessible to the young people who need it most. And thank you for your hope for and commitment to brighter, stronger and healthier futures for youth facing adversity.  

With gratitude,
Jessica everyone at Street Yoga

Sources: 1) School-based social and emotional learning programs: Navigating developmental crossroads (2006). 2 ) Respiratory patterns in students enrolled in schools for disruptive behavior before, during and after Yoga Nidra relaxation (2012). 3) Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: A preliminary randomized controlled trial (2012).  4) Qualitative evaluation of a high school yoga program: Feasibility and perceived benefits (2013).  5) Effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol and behavior in second- and third-grade students: a pilot study (2015).  6) The effects of a stress management intervention in elementary school children (2014). 7) Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health (2014). 8) Mindfulness-based interventions in school--a systematic review and meta-analysis (2014).  9) A systematic review of mindfulness-based interventions for youth in school settings (2015).  10) Yoga in the schools: A systematic review of the literature (2012). 11) Here and now: Yoga in Israeli schools (2010).  12) Benefits of yoga for psychosocial well-being in a US high school curriculum: A preliminary randomized controlled trial (2012). 13) The impact of mindfulness education on elementary school students: evaluation of the Master Mind program (2014).  14) The effects of a stress management intervention in elementary school children (2014). 15) The effects of a stress management intervention in elementary school children (2014).  16) Yoga may mitigate decreases in high school grades (2015).  17) Yoga improves attention and self-esteem in underprivileged girl students (2013).  18) Effect of yoga or physical exercise on physical, cognitive and emotional measures in children: A randomized controlled trail (2013). 19) Reducing stress in school-age girls through mindful yoga (2012).  20) Perceptions of children who participated in a school-based yoga program (2010).  21) Yoga as an alternative and complementary approach for stress management: A systematic review (2014).  22) A systematic review of randomized control trials on the effects of yoga on stress measures and mood (2015).  23) The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress (2012). 24) Yoga in public schools improves adolescent mood and affect (2014). 25) Transformative life skills: Pilot study of a yoga model for reduced stress and improving self-control in vulnerable youth (2010). 26) Fostering self-regulation through curriculum infusion of mindful yoga: A pilot study of efficacy and feasibility (2015). 27) Enhancing preschoolers' self-regulation via mindful yoga (2013). 28) Yoga in an urban school for children with emotional and behavioral disorders: A feasibility study (2013). 29) Behavioral and psychophysiological effects of a yoga intervention on high-risk adolescents: A randomized control trial (2015)
 The ability to notice and control one's breath gives us the ability to slow down, come into the present, decrease our heart rate, step out of the fight or flight response and think more clearly. Breath control helps young people stop and think before reacting and aids in easing anxiety.

90% of Street Yoga youth reported that during 
yoga class I am aware of my breath when I 
inhale and exhale.
74% said that outside of yoga classes I am more aware of their breath when I inhale and exhale.

I've taught classes at a few of Street Yoga's sites: 
  • Teens at World School, who had recently arrived in the US and were adjusting to a new life and the language barrier
  • Middle school girls in a mental health program through Cowlitz Tribal Health
  • Teen girls at Casa de Las Amigas, a shelter for undocumented Latina girls
  • Children living with their families at a shelter and transitional housing site through Solid Ground
I believe that the practice of yoga, including mindfulness/meditation and conscious breathing, can be invaluable for each one of us.  The opportunity to share this practice and  these skills, particularly when there has been stress and trauma in young lives, is an honor.  I also appreciate that Street Yoga is bringing yoga to people who ordinarily might not have access to it. 

Finishing a class and having a student ask "are you coming back?!"

It's hard to pick, but I think they tend to really like the grounding, power and strong stance of Warrior 2, and actually all the Warrior poses.


"[The Street Yoga classes] teach our youth new skills around relaxation, self-awareness, and exploration of the self. These things are crucial to most of our youth, as many have experienced trauma, homelessness, and various micro-aggressions."

- Street Yoga Training Program Site Staff

Street Yoga is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that teaches, yoga, mindfulness, and compassionate communication to youth and families struggling with homelessness, poverty, abuse, addiction, trauma and behavioral challenges, so that they can grow stronger, heal from past traumas and create for themselves lives that are inspired, safe and joyful.  Learn more at www.streetyoga.org. 

What your gift can do
- $1200 - 

Provides a yoga for youth class at one partner site for one year.  That's 45-50 classes for up to 20 youth per class.  


- $600 - 

Provides all of the scholarships for one of Street Yoga's Trauma-Informed Yoga Trainings (4-5 partial scholarships)

- $250 - 

Provides five one time trail classes or organizations deciding if Street Yoga classes are right for their Program Site.

- $100 - 

Provides three continuing education trainings for our volunteer teachers, including workshops on trauma, the science of addiction, and adapting yoga postures. 


- $25 - 

Provides mats, mat cleaner and blocks for one partner site. 

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