Y.O.G.A. for Youth – North Carolina

Welcome to Y.O.G.A for Youth’s North Carolina satellite!

Join us for the Y.O.G.A. for Youth 40-hour Teacher Training course in Durham, North Carolina starting August 2nd 2019!

Photos from our recent, amazing Durham Teacher Training August 1 – 5, 2018!

Trainees in attendance represented North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and California.  Trainees made an onsite visit to the Emily K Center in Durham to observe Y.O.G.A. for Youth Lead Teacher Victoria Smith teaching at the Justice Theater Project summer camp.  During the Training, they also had the opportunity to hear from current Y.O.G.A. for Youth Lead Teachers and Teacher Assistants Kenneth Strickland, Victoria Smith, Leticia Garcia Martinez and Christine Abernathy.

“I am [still] using the tools that I learned personally with relaxation breathing. Also, within [my] elementary school, I have started a morning yoga club that is going very well. I really like the breathing techniques that I learned and it is something I practice a good bit and work on with my kiddos at school.” -Chris Walker, took the teacher training in 2017

“The knowledge I gained through this program greatly expanded both my yoga practice and teaching skill-set. Working with children has enabled me to better understand the principals of Kundalini so I can apply them to my life. Teaching young people allows me to see the direct impact my work has on their lives, which is extremely meaningful! I am so thankful that Y.O.G.A. for Youth gave the skills I need to connect with an underserved population and share in a beautiful practice to build community together.” –Sara Jeffries, took the teacher training in 2016

“My life has changed with all the lessons learned from the training…[Being involved in] this organization has been very rewarding because children and youth will always be at risk. Providing them with the techniques of yoga and meditation–tools that allow them to realize their potential–is great.” -Leticia Garcia, took the teacher training in 2015

It’s an exciting time for Y.O.G.A. for Youth N.C. and we’ve got a lot going on in 2018, in terms of partnerships, research and expansion. Read on to catch up and learn more about what we’re up to right now! 

Y.O.G.A. for Youth North Carolina is supporting a research study by Duke Identity and Diversity Lab, led by Dr. Sarah Gaither  about social perceptions in children. Duke University in Durham is currently looking for participants between the ages of 3 and 5 years old for a short study where children play a 5-10 minute game on an iPad and receive sticker prizes at the end.
Contact DukeIDlab@gmail.com for more information. Read more here: CHIPS_Study_Flyer and GKS_Study_Flyer


We’re proud to announce our third year of partnership with Bull City Fit through Duke University’s Healthy Lifestyles program. The program, which promotes and instills healthy lifestyle choices for children, offers weekly Y.O.G.A. for Youth classes. The sessions take place at the Edison Johnson Community Center in Durham, and family members are encouraged to attend. “What’s awesome about these classes is the vast age range we’re seeing in terms of attendance,” says Keval Khalsa, Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC Regional Coordinator. “A parent might come and bring their toddler, or a child might come and bring their older siblings and grandparents. The partnership between Y.O.G.A. for Youth and Bull City Fit allows not only children, but families, to experience yoga’s various benefits.” Lauren Sibley, Program Coordinator for Bull City Fit, expressed her appreciation to Y.O.G.A. for Youth:  “Thank you again for this partnership! The yoga classes at BCF continue to be an excellent staple of our programming, loved by our BCF children and parents alike!”


Thanks to a Bass Connections grant from Duke University, Keval Kaur Khalsa, Professor of the Practice of Dance & Theater Studies at Duke and Dr. Michele Berger, Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill – in conjunction with community educational partners, committed faculty and students from Duke and UNC-CH, and passionate Y.O.G.A. for Youth leaders – are celebrating the fifth year of their Mindfulness in Human Development research project. Using a mixed-methods approach, the project is studying the effects of a regular yoga and meditation practice on middle school students’ mindfulness, emotional regulation, self-esteem, stress response, resilience, academic performance, social behavior body image, and physical health.


This is our fourth year of working with the Durham Arts Council’s Creative Arts in Public and Private Schools (CAPS) program, a partnership between the Arts Council and Durham Public Schools. The 46-year-old program places professional artists (including yoga teachers) of all sorts in classrooms across Durham, Granville and Orange counties to provide “creative and interactive residencies” that teach a variety of life skills through the arts to over 20,000 students each year. CAPS artists do other work in the community, as well, and provide programming to childhood centers, preschools and various after-school services. We are excited about returning to Sandy Ridge Elementary School and working with first graders this year.


For eight years we have collaborated with the Justice Theater Project to offer yoga programming during summer camps for children at the Emily K Center in Durham and Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh. Daily yoga and mediation sessions help these young performers be on top of their game!


Contact North Carolina Regional Coordinator:

Keval Kaur at keval@yogaforyouth.org

(919) 225-3192