Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC has partnered with Communities-In-Schools of Orange County (cisoc-nc.org/) to teach yoga to all 6-8th grade students in their after-school programs in all seven Orange County public middle schools.  Targeting underachieving students, these after-school programs offer exciting enrichment activities – now including yoga!

Your donation will mean that this programming can continue past the 8-week pilot series. Communities-In-Schools would like Y.O.G.A. for Youth classes to be an ongoing part of their after-school After 3 programs in the current seven schools, and introduce yoga into their Partnership Academy alternative high school program. The 8-week pilot program underway now has been an overwhelming success. The after-school teachers and coordinators have been enthusiastic about incorporating yoga instruction into their programming. Student feedback has also been very positive. Paura Heo, Programming Coordinator with CISOC, reports that “some students have told us that the yoga class is the highlight of their week”.

Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC Regional Coordinator Keval Kaur Khalsa, who has been teaching at Culbreth and Phillips Middle Schools, says “It’s wonderful to see the power of this technology in action. I see my students just once a week for 50 minutes, but the progress has been amazing. In only 6 weeks’ time, we’ve gone from giggling and distracting behavior and an attitude of nervousness about this “new thing” to much more focus and concentration. Many of our youngsters who deal with ADD, ADHD, etc. have such a hard time focusing. In the beginning, these students could not sit still to focus on their breath or meditate, and could not lay still during our deep relaxation. I have seen these same students, in this short amount of time, increase their ability to sit quietly, and its’ quite magical to see these students actually fall asleep during our deep relaxation. Last week, my class at Culbreth Middle School meditated for six minutes! I made sure to let them know that many adults are not able to do that. These students have so much potential. Every time I teach, I’m reminded of that, and of the power of yoga and meditation to help our young people realize that potential. These tools give them a stronger relationship to themselves, a better ability to focus and concentrate, and the ability to act rather than just react to the people and situations in their lives.”