A Hub for Yoga Service
Yoga Forward is a community service outreach program that brings healing benefits of yoga and mindfulness to those who need it most.
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah that serves as a hub for more than 1000 members of the Yoga Assets Teacher Training community. As part of their commitment to become Yoga Instructors through this program, our students/teachers have agreed to engage in a minimum of 10 hours of Yoga Service.
Yoga Service is the intentional sharing of yoga practices with people who experience vulnerability or trauma at different points of their lives. As you can imagine, that list is long. It could include stressed-out students, veterans, incarcerated people, at-risk youth, and the terminally ill.
To-date, our teachers have dedicated more than 13,000 hours of Yoga Service and counting. Our core values include being engaged in positive social impact, along with fostering diversity, equity and inclusion. We created and fulfilled a 200-Hour scholarship program for 20 students who represent the BIPOC community, and again for 12 students who represent the LGBTQ+ community. Our graduates are now providing yoga service in their respective communities.
In our work with the Utah Department of Corrections, we are now offering yoga to men and women in our Salt Lake facility, and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. We have successfully graduated over 20 women and 2 men from a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. Many are now out and providing yoga service in their community, as well as working in paid positions.
The Science Supporting Mindfulness is Overwhelming
There is a wealth of new research that empirically supports the benefits of mindfulness. As our brain science has progressed in the last decade, “being mindful” has moved from the realm of ancient Eastern philosophy to become a central construct of modern psychotherapy.
A summary of published scientific evidence complied by the American Psychological Association includes the following benefits:
- Reduced rumination
- Stress reduction
- Boosts to working memory
- Reduced emotional reactivity
- Increased cognitive flexibility
- Relationship satisfaction
- Enhanced self-insight
- Increased immune functioning
Teaching the Teachers
While most of the teachers in our yoga community share their practices directly with under-served or at-risk populations, Yoga Forward as an organization is focused on creating an infrastructure for serving Service-Leaders. Or as we call it, Teaching Teachers.
Teaching Teachers is a strategy of both service and leverage of ascendancy. We improve the well-being of the Teacher while providing the tools and constructs for them to share these techniques with their students, clients and patients.
Teachers, Nurses, Counselors, Therapists…they all do better work when they practice mindfulness meditation.
Those whose job centers on the development and care of others reap enormous benefits, both personal and professional. The science points to the following benefits:
- Improved empathy
- Enhanced compassion
- More effective counseling skills
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Better quality of life
The Ripple Effect
Everything we do and think affects the people around us. Their reaction, in turn, affects us. The way we show up in the world can have far-reaching consequences.
Mindfulness gives us the capacity to change our world and the world of those around us, for the better.
Yoga Forward is a catalyst for a social, charitable, and humanitarian ripple effect. The outcome of your donation can be measured by the true-north benefits listed above, and can be followed outwards incrementally, from person, to person, to person.
Your support of Yoga Forward is a gift that keeps on giving.