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YogaCare: Training Yoga Teachers on the South Side

Our project supports two amazing rockstar women of Englewood in becoming yoga teachers and developing their own classes! YogaCare's Scholarship Fund helps train teachers in underserved neighborhoods where we offer free or donation-based yoga programs to make yoga accessible for all. Each year, two students are awarded scholarships to further their yoga education by participating in a teacher training course of their choice. The two current Scholars (Class of 2017), Darlene Blackburn and Yahdina U-Deen, have been strongly active with YogaCare since its inception as a non-profit organization in 2014, and both play key roles within their own communities in Chicago.

As someone who has transitioned through stressful times and physical aches and pains, Darlene has grown to understand herself on a deeper level through yoga. she wants to help others transcend their own self-imposed limitations and experience yoga’s physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. She is an internationally-known African and Caribbean dance instructor, choreographer, and founder of her own dance company! In addition, as a (now-retired) physical education teacher for the Chicago Public Schools for 26 years, Darlene believes in giving back to communities through teaching.

Yahdina U-Deen is a mother, grandmother, and a professional singer and actor. She is a senior member of the Black Ensemble Theater Company and has performed around the United States and abroad. Love and thankfulness pour throughout her veins for the many opportunities her Creator has allowed. “Learn, grow, teach, and repeat!” is Yahdina’s motto in life, which fits perfectly into her yoga journey. She was referred to yoga as a means of stress management. And with a new-found awareness of self, yoga has taught her the importance of living from the inside out.

Both women have the intrinsic desire to teach, and we are thrilled to co-create this opportunity to cultivate yoga knowledge and share it with their future students!

Funded by Chicago, IL (March 2017)