Outreach at The House of Yoga
“Inspire to Reach Out!”
The ethos of The House of Yoga strongly emphasizes the importance of building a sense of community, using Yoga as a tool to bring people together.
The Outreach project was set up at the end of 2014, with the aim of providing Yoga to those who struggle with accessibility.
Examples of these factors may be:
Our beloved Zara runs the project at The House of Yoga with support from teachers Eva and Caroline. Zara’s background lies in working with at-risk young people and young offenders. Zara strongly believes that Yoga is an amazing form of positive intervention as well as a method of breaking down barriers within communities.
Our Outreach Mission Statement in bite-size chunks:
- To provide accessibility and equal opportunities to all
- To encourage and build a sense of community
- To promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle, mind & body
- To raise awareness around the benefits of Yoga
- To break down physical, mental, emotional & social barriers
- To spread the positive effects and benefits of Yoga to a wider audience
So how does it all work?
We firstly assess the needs, preferences and budget of the community that we are working with, then provide an initial free taster session. If the community is then keen to continue Yoga with us, whether ad-hoc or regularly, we then tailor the sessions and if affordable, we organize a rate that will pay the teacher and the remainder will go into our Outreach pot that will provide Yoga for those who are unable to afford it.
This essentially means that our communities are supporting communities.
What is your support going towards?
Carney’s Community is a charity and boxing club in Battersea that works with ex-offenders and at-risk young people, using Boxing as a form of rehabilitation to reduce re-offending. We teach Yoga for the Carney’s Community weekly and support them in raising money for their charity.
Caius House is a charity and youth club in Battersea that provides a safe place for young people to reach their potential and develop their talents further. We teach Yoga for the Caius community weekly.
Bakhita House is a safehouse for trafficked women to help them integrate back into society and re-build their lives. We teach Yoga for the Bakhita girls weekly.
The Participation People
Zara has worked with Wandsworth Council’s Youth Service for many years and the Participation People provide opportunities for young people to have their voice heard and represent their community on a wider scale.
The House of Yoga team recently took part in one of the PP’s events, providing free Yoga tasters for the young people and bridging the gaps within our community. Zara also regularly brings in young people from the Youth Centres that she works into the The House of Yoga classes within the emphasis on breaking down social barriers and introducing the young people to a new environment.
The backbone of the House of Yoga are our Community Connector (CC) Team members who are such a valuable part of our Community. Damaris is one of the young people that Zara has worked with for many years, who has faced numerous challenges in his life and discovered Yoga at a time when he needed it the most. Now Damaris is a dedicated Yogi, Teacher and CC member, inspiring and supporting so many throughout his journey. We encourage other young people who have faced, or are facing challenging circumstances, to become Youth leaders within our Thoy community, to be inspired and inspire others as a result of this.
Funds raised through Outreach are fed back into the Community, either through donations to local charities, or through delivering free or subsidized Yoga sessions. Cash donations are greatly appreciated and can be handed into the House of Yoga reception. We will be sure to keep you updated of events, how to get involved and where and what your money and support is going to.
Teachers that are interested in teaching within our Outreach team are required to have completed a 200hr Teacher Training with the House of Yoga or have experienced training with the Baptiste Institute.
Past, Present, Future Outreach Projects
A fantastic group of young swimmers, ranging from age 12-16 over their school holidays. Sessions were tailored to compliment their challenging training regimes, as well as provide an enjoyable team extracurricular activity. The Outreach team looks forward to working with them again in the near future.
Working with MF for over a year, running weekly sessions for their members as well as any of the local community who attend the centre. MF has a strong emphasis on the importance of community and well-being with Martial Arts discipline sharing many similarities with Yoga. Outreach greatly values the relationship and the participation of the members that we share together.
St Matthews Primary School
A Yoga programme integrated with a mindfulness and well-being. It was extremely rewarding to see the positive impact that Yoga had on the children’s confidence, behaviour and attitude towards one another. The sessions focused on enjoyment and awareness of healthy living, however also emphasised on education around mindful and positive thinking for the children.
Putney High School
For nearly two years, Outreach has provided weekly sessions to the Years 9, 10 and 11, as part of their Physical Education programme. The sessions are carried out with the aim of developing an awareness around healthy living, as well as helping the girls to both enhance their focus and also to reduce stress and find the tools to achieve balance, which is beneficial during such a key stage of their education. So are humbled to see many of these girls now attending regular classes at The House of Yoga studio.
Our Lady of Victory School
Weekly school visits, providing an after-school Yoga club for the younger years, as well as Yoga for the staff.
The after-school club focuses on providing fun and creative, yet mindful sessions for the children and the staff yoga encourages a healthy work/life balance. With the amazing staff giving out their time and energy to the students day-in / day-out, it is of equal importance that they have time to recharge after the school day.
Working with Ark Academy for over a year now, Outreach runs weekly after-school sessions for staff. The sessions focus on physical well-being as well as providing the staff with some well-deserved down time at the end of their school day. With a role that requires being available at all times for a large number of people, it is very important that the staff take the time to give back to themselves.
Outreach provides tactical sessions for Fulham Brownies & Girl Guides with a large community focus. The sessions emphasise the importance of play, happiness and teamwork. Yoga is a fantastic compliment to the work and adventures that these troops set out on.
Outreach is passionate about working with various Rehabilitation clinics for drug & alcohol, using Yoga as a compliment for the treatment of the patients.
HM Prison Service
Our most recent project through Outreach, we are currently in meeting and planning stages with HM to provide Yoga within the prisons. We are very passionate about Yoga for inmates, to enhance well-being and reduce re-offending, but also to staff to support their challenging and inspiring work.
Our largest project, Outreach is proud to offer a comprehensive weekly Yoga schedule for NHS staff at Hammersmith, St. Mary’s & Charing Cross Hospital. NHS employees are some of the busiest and most-hardworking people in our society and it can be challenging for them to take time out for themselves, let alone get to a Yoga studio during sociable hours. Instead, we have brought Yoga to them, pre, post and during their working days. In addition, we run regular workshops and participate within their well-being events. The NHS yogis are truly remarkable and we feel grateful to contribute to their well-being in any way that we can.
*The NHS Project is currently paid for by the NHS Wellbeing budget to Thoy. The staff at the NHS pay a subsized fee. This is not currently part of our Outreach pay set-up however we are looking into how to make this possible
The House of Yoga Community Classes
Our newly qualified teachers host free community classes at The House of Yoga. Whilst the classes are free we do accept donations with all proceeds going straight to our Outreach program. It’s a fantastic way support our new teachers at the start of their teaching journey to build confidence whilst supporting the wider community.
To support us, find out more, share ideas, testimonials or get involved then please contact Zara or Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop in for a chat and a juice!