by Rachel Allen
The World needs more Yoga. What I mean more specifically is that we need more grounded regulated people. We need more folx that can have the capacity for complexity and not be overwhelmed. The world seems to be in constant flux with climate change, natural disasters, and war, and even close to home, in our own communities there may be violence, apathy, and more.
Many of us have had the experience of yoga changing our lives, whether that be the ability to self-regulate, uncover the hidden wholeness within ourselves and find larger meaning and connection to the planet and cosmos at large. Many of us also recognize yoga is not a class. Yoga is this way of being relational and connected. There is potential for Yoga to be part of planting seeds for a healthier community in YOUR sphere of influence.
Yoga is also not always accessible and available to many folx. Limitations may include lack of income, transportation, social anxiety, fear of not fitting in, as well as not having a “yoga body” or other demographics outside of being a young, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied flexible person.
Yoga is for everybody. Yoga as a way of teaching central nervous system regulation, as a relational practice of building healthy connection has an entry point for everyone.
This is the work of my heart and what I have built for the last decade-plus in my own community in SW Pa. I teach and have taught in places that range from shelters, prisons, partial hospitalization programs, school districts, community centers, mental health drop-in centers, city parks, workforce development programs, Neuroscience Centers, cancer centers, and more.
Some of these programs are ongoing, others have a specific beginning and end. In some of these programs, I have had an active role in procuring funds, writing proposals, assisting with grant writing and innovative fundraising and others have not required much other than a resume and submitting invoices.
Most of these have required me to have a brief, succinct elevator pitch as well as a formal presentation. I have also found it helpful to people when teaching Yoga as a means of central nervous system regulation to share yoga philosophy, particularly from the Yoga Sutras in simple, digestible chunks and it levels the playing field for folx who have only seen the consumer-focused, perfectionist asana focus of the practice.
Recently I did an informal survey on social media to inquire why yoga might hold interest for someone, but they have yet to try a class. I received 88 responses.
Most people stated that social anxiety and fear of not fitting in are the two biggest hurdles that inhibit folx from participating in yoga.
The classes I teach in community-based settings are overwhelmingly attended by people who don’t attend a studio or fitness club. There is feedback from my students, that the setting, whether it be a city park, library or community center helps lessen the fear of fitting in and this is already a setting where they have a connection which decreases some of the social anxiety.
So, there are so many ways we can share the practice and get creative about some of the places and spaces in our communities where yoga might be offered.
Taking Yoga to the people in our own beloved communities is a humble labor of love and is much needed in this world today.
The World Needs More Yoga: 12-Week Small Group Mentoring Program
with Rachel Allen starts March 22, 2023.
This program includes a Thread Membership until June 30, 2023.
I am excited to share the knowledge of bringing yoga into the community that I have developed and nurtured for the past decade in my own beloved community.
In this 3 month experience, we will walk with each other and support the development of pilot projects in your community.
I look forward to developing and co-creating a supportive community on The Thread Yoga Collective where we can share and support each other in planting the beautiful seeds of Yoga and spreading love and compassion in our own backyards.
Learn more about Rachel’s upcoming Mentoring Program HERE.