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Radha Yoga Youth Outreach (RYYO) program

August 22, 2008 by Lightwaves

The Radha Yoga Youth Outreach (RYYO) program (formerly Yoga for Youth-At-Risk) is entering its fifth programming year this Fall. Jessica Earle Meadows writes about her experience as an Outreach Coordinator.

What began as a once a week, one-teacher outreach initiative four years ago, Radha Yoga’s Youth Outreach now has nine outreach teachers teaching for the program this Fall, serving approximately fifteen youth agencies.

The amount of long-term partnerships RYYO has with youth agencies and the growing number of both outreach teachers and supporters of RYYO reflect the program’s capacity to speak to the hearts of those it touches.

I joined, what was at the time, YYAR in September of 2007. I left Yasodhara Ashram after a year and a half of living there, and felt indefinite about my future plans. When I saw the job description for the Outreach Coordinator I began to correspond with Janet about the position, and had a strong response from within that told me it was the right decision. Since then, I’ve made a two year commitment as RYYO’s Program Coordinator. This came about largely because of the potential and support for the program I witnessed this year. Not only does RYYO now have a team of nine outreach teachers, Amanda Jahnke and I also spent the winter developing and piloting a Kundalini/reflective approach to yoga for youth called: BodyTalks.

BodyTalks is a way in to interact with girls and young women in-depth, while allowing them the authority to take what they do from the experience – so that what they experience is just what they need for themselves. Additionally, Michael McCarthy and Palma Borzellino will be joining RYYO this Fall as Outreach Coordinators, and we’re holding a space to see what their inspiration manifests – especially because Body-talks has yet to be modified and offered for young men in need.

My experience and feedback from offering RYYO classes this past year is that most young people are looking for a space to be still – even when they themselves can’t articulate this at first. There seems to be a disatisfaction with the “busy-ness” or stress – of whatever kind – in their lives and a sort of defeatism or weariness that sets in amongst them that this is “the way things are.” Often, after a RYYO class, there are comments such as: “after I do this, the rest of my day goes smooth,” or “I wish I could do this every day,” or, simply, “I’m relaxed.” These comments are initial indicators to me of a shift within some of them – that there is another way of being: that the body and mind can be lifted, and life experienced differently.

Visit the RYYO website where you can find out more information about the program and read the inspiring RYYO newsletter.

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  1. […] have recently become part of Radha Yoga Youth Outreach (RYYO), a core group of young people who have all spent time at Yasodhara Ashram and are continuing […]

    Pingback by taking yoga to the streets | ascent magazine weblog — October 17, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

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