Do you remember a time in your life when it felt hard to stop and breathe? Maybe you were experiencing a tough time at home or work. Maybe you were dealing with depression or anxiety.
Was there was someone, or something, that helped you breathe and find your way through?
For me, it was Project Yoga Richmond that helped me breathe when I was in need.
I first discovered Project Yoga Richmond when I needed support the most. I was anxious and overwhelmed before my first class with PYR, but as I entered the studio, I felt a sense of relief. From the moment I opened PYR’s door, I found so much more than a yoga class. I found a deep sense of calm during tumultuous times; I found myself; I found community.
Project Yoga Richmond provides this experience to communities across the Greater Richmond Region by providing free or low-cost yoga and mindfulness programs. I support PYR because I believe everyone deserves access to the benefits yoga provides. Benefits like improved focus and self regulation, a sense of belonging, and a reduction in stress and anxiety.
Eager to be part of the community that had been there for me when I needed it most, I deepened my support of PYR through volunteering. I have served as both a check-in assistant and volunteered with one of PYR’s community partnership programs. Welcoming students to PYR’s pay-what-you-can studio and assisting a summer yoga and mindfulness program for East End elementary school youth, I have seen the impact PYR has had on my life replicated in the lives of countless other students.
As a middle school English teacher in Henrico County, yoga supports my well-being so that I can better teach, but I have also passed those benefits along to my students. I have begun incorporating breath work into my classroom in order to share the stress-management and social-emotional learning skills that yoga provides. My experience as a teacher has taught me that the most important lessons we learn come from students themselves. PYR embodies this ideal wholeheartedly. I have seen first hand how PYR looks first to the needs of their community to empower the students they serve. Whether it is PYR’s programs for youth in Richmond Public Schools, working with ESOL populations in Chesterfield County, or sharing trauma-informed programs at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, PYR continues to work with and meet each population where they are as they share the benefits of yoga. It is this focus that makes PYR’s programs so unique and impactful.
Your donation will make it possible for more people to discover the benefits of yoga.
Practicing with Project Yoga Richmond has provided me the ability to reset when I’m having a challenging moment or day. Yoga reminds me to breathe and has given me the space and perspective to not let a moment of anxiety or a simple mistake unravel all the good within and around me. PYR offers the network of support I need to share all that I have to offer.
Consider making a donation to Project Yoga Richmond to help someone breathe and feel supported by our community, no matter what they are facing.
Sarah Delaney, Project Yoga Richmond Student and Volunteer
Reflections on PYR Partnership with NextUp at Elkhart Thompson, Fall 2018
What I enjoy most about working with the youth at NextUp is helping them create a community for themselves. We allow them to dictate their own group agreements, their own rules on how we will all conduct ourselves in the space. Things like: kindness, respect, listening when another is speaking, be calm, have fun, and no judgment. They decide how we will relate to one another and I believe this is what helps creates a safe space for them to open up, to share, to be vulnerable.
It seems that there is a lot of competition for space to be heard and seen amongst the youth. This manifests as attacking one another with words, speaking over one another, trying to make space for themselves. (behavior not unfamiliar to how we as adults can sometimes interact). In Mindfulness on the Mat, we remind the young people of the agreements that were collectively chosen for the space. They are reminded that there is space for each of them and that the right to be in the space and feel safe belongs to each of us.
I have watched friendships bloom and grow. I have observed youth develop the ability to nourish and support one another. I have witnessed young people become a beautiful example of the healing power of community. This is why I love working with NextUp and Project Yoga Richmond, each session a child reminds me of how innately kind and mindful we are if given the space and gentle reminders of our true nature. I believe my experience of the breakout sessions is just a microcosm of the community NextUp and Project Yoga Richmond are creating for each school they collaborate with. And to me, that is truly a beautiful thing that I am proud to be a part of.
-PYR Ambassador, Syd Collier
Click to Download The Yoga Menu: Winter Edition
- Photobooth fun for our donors
- Matching gifts to double your dollars
- Giveaways throughout the day
- Giveaways for every community program supported (every $1,500 raised)
- Watch our social media feed throughout the day for more info
- Special snacks from our friends at Blanchard’s Coffee, WPA Bakery, Health Warrior, Nate’s Bagels, Roots Natural Kitchen & more!