Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the interest of yoga worldwide. In fact, this phenomena has also given rise to new forms of yoga as well as varied types of classes. In this latest yoga class aimed at helping at-risk youths to manage stress, students wear baggy jeans to attend each session. Furthermore, the background music is hip-hop and pop, unlike the traditional soothing music used in the usual yoga classes.
The class is designed for at-risk youths who live in a shelter for runaways. At the same time, the easy vibe that is so often present in pricey yoga studios has no place here. It takes place at Huckleberry House, which is a nonprofit shelter created for teenagers at 1421 Hamlet St. The instructor, Candy McDowall, is a former Huckleberry House counselor who has been teaching the weekly classes there for approximately six months already. Candy returned to Huckleberry House after completing her yoga training at Yoga Gangsters, a nonprofit organisation that aims to take yoga to at-risk individuals. Presently, she teaches the classes as a volunteer.
In each class, there is quite a different mix of kids. This is because every week there will be new kids arriving at as well as leaving Huckleberry House. Although Candy bantered right back with the five teens in one recent class, she is always aware of her role. Many of these Huckleberry House residents find themselves there due to abuse from an adult either physically or sexually. This can make them feel nervous or uncomfortable whenever another adult touches them. Then, there are also those who have a tough time getting along with their own parents. This makes it quite a challenge to get them listening to grown-ups, especially when they are being told what to do.
Candy deals with all these varied difficulties by keeping her yoga class relatively flexible. The students are allowed to move into the yoga poses at their own pace. Simultaneously, they are not always required to stick with strict yogic positions. She will also not touch anyone unless they have informed her that it was alright to do so. If you would like to read more on the story, you can refer to it here.