April has been a crazy busy month for TYF with the launch of three new courses. The Teen Yoga Ambassador course has had some publicity and is something that we are all extremely excited about, where we invite various young people from all backgrounds to join us for three weekends to explore how they can use yoga to support their peers. It is a very thorough course and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved. The course is run online and has 25 hours of content, ranging from investigating the therapeutic aspect of yoga to how best to share it as well as how to become a really good listener and how to take care of yourself really well. The young people have given it a big thumbs up and thanks to Lululemon we were able to offer two bursary places on the course to those who might not have accessed it otherwise. What I love the most about this course, I think is that it will be a way for lots more young people to access the benefits of yoga without having to pay and in a way that is meaningful for them. I spoke about this at some length on the 3rd of April on BBC Bristol and Somerset, you can listen to the hour long radio programme on Listen Again, at 3pm. In terms of the Teen Yoga Ambassador course, we will be running our next one in July – do let the young people in your life know!
Secondly, I was very honoured to be asked to run a training course online for London Youth, a Youth worker organisation, on how best to support BAME young women in expressing their feelings through Talking Circles. This was a bit of a departure for us, with a specifically yoga off the mat training, but we soon realised how much yoga was involved, which made it all the more meaningful and fun for us – making sure it appealed to a really diverse population with many different barriers to entry to wellbeing practises. We estimate that around 5000 teens will be reached by this intervention. This programme was delivered in association with Haptivate and we feel proud to continue to deliver it over a period of two years. We look forward to being involved in more training of social and youth workers.
Lastly, we were asked to create a short introductory course for PE teachers in Chorleywood who all wanted to introduce yoga to their students. This was also stimulating and challenging as we did not have much time. The teachers all agreed that a yoga teacher is necessary to back them up and for signposting. This course was generously supported by the National Lottery.
So the Teen Yoga Foundation together with Yoga in Schools is increasingly asked to provide tailor made training courses for various contexts and this is heartening. We really feel tremendously indebted to Lululemon for their generous support in all areas this year, they have put us in touch with important partner companies to help us pivot our organisation and also funded several projects – the creation of the Ambassador course and several courses in PRUs across the country and a new website are all thanks to their generous donation. It really is a privilege to be their Here to Be partner and we hope that the partnership continues to thrive.