I am passionate about taking yoga out of the studio and into the community, bringing together my profession as a caseworker and yoga teacher. I will use these generous funds and my own investment to kick start the first step of this dream, enabling me to teach a regular class at the local women's night shelter. The teaching is free, the space is free, all we need is some equipment!
Nightly, the shelter sees up to 12 women, all with different stories and struggles. The women have to leave the shelter by 8am but most have spare time between this and waiting for services to open at 9am. Therefore, there is a perfect window for a class and the shelter has the space to practice. The class will be free to the women and I will be delivering it on a voluntary basis.
The aim of these classes is to create a space where the women feel safe to explore, relax and have fun with their bodies; setting the foundations for building internal strength and compassion when things outside are turbulent and insecure. More than anything, the space to create sangha, a community of support to share, laugh and breathe together.
To begin with, this will be a three-month pilot starting in November, with the definite hope to keep it going beyond this and these resources will also allow me expand into other areas of the community.
For me, it is really important that the women (and any future community groups) don't get a load of old hand-me-down mats. They deserve the same quality and level of class that you would expect in any yoga studio. The main things we need are mats and blankets. After that, we will buy as many blocks, bricks, belts and bolsters as money allows, so they can be as comfortable as possible and experience all yoga has to offer.
This is why I have chosen to go for Crowdfunding rather than just a shout out for free equipment. HOWEVER, if anyone does have any good quality second hand things listed above, then get in touch as these would be welcome extras!