Mark Lilly formed Street Yoga a few years before yoga exploded as a practice that anyone might be encouraged to take up. He wanted to stop the rate at which young people were entering a cycle of poverty and homelessness that was difficult, if not impossible, for them to break. So he gathered some yoga teachers and started working with homeless youths. There was resistance to be sure, but there were also plenty of kids who took it up and who found that it really nurtured them.
Lilly was doing a lot more than just teaching them how to get into or out of a posture. For a lot of these kids yoga was a way to relax and relieve tension, a way to face their day, a way to ease body aches from sleeping on cots, on the ground, on the floor, a way to feel like they had the power within themselves to change how they felt so that their experiences in life would be different.
Since the formation of Street Yoga in 2002, the organization has expanded to include teacher training and works–not just with kids–but also with their families/caregivers. And Street Yoga’s intention to help youth “grow stronger, heal from past traumas, and create for themselves a life that is inspired, safe, and joyful,” remains.
Read more about Street Yoga
Read the Street Yoga Blog
Watch a video about How Yoga Heals
Watch a video with Mark Lilly & Seane Corn