I was part of the inaugural teacher training class at Epic Yoga Center. Today I was given the opportunity to speak to this year‘s teacher training class about Seva, the practice of selfless giving. 

When I went through training in 2012, my Seva project involved creating a yoga program at Rocketown Teen Club in downtown Nashville. (Rocketown is a music venue, coffee-shop and skate park that is dedicated to serving at-risk youth in the area.)

It was a success as it served kids, staff, parents and even grandparents on a weekly basis. (Also, from that year forward, Rocketown became the home of the Music City Yoga Festival.)

At that time, I didn’t realize the needs of kids in foster care. After meeting Jimmy in 2015, I learned about the struggles of these beautiful kids, and more specifically the needs of girls still struggling through a broken system and those who have aged out into homelessness — or worse.

Fast forward to late 2016 when I approached Monroe Harding about offering Yoga to the at-risk girls they served through one of their programs called Youth Connections.

I was able to commit to a monthly class but starting next month — with the help of Epic Yoga, and a sponsor I’ll tell you about soon — we’ll not only be able to bring Yoga to the girls, but the Youth Connections staff and Foster Moms who work tirelessly to serve them.

These individuals will have an weekly opportunity to practice Yoga with a certified teacher. 

Yoga reduces stress, increases flexibility, strength and muscle tone in its practitioners, but it is also proven to help girls who have experience childhood trauma. 

Here’s a recent article by the Washington Post outlining some of the research. 

Hats off to Leanne Woehlke (founder and owner of Epic Yoga Center) and her selfless teaching staff for their offer of teacher-support in this beautiful endeavor. 

Thank you Tara, Leah, Sarah, and Pamela at Monroe Harding and Youth Connections for helping us give these amazing young ladies a sense of peace, healing, and the tools to deal with the stresses of their fight-or-flight lives.

Thank you especially to Jimmy for opening my eyes to the needs of these vulnerable and valuable children and for inspiring me daily in every way.