Expanding Yoga to Underserved Populations

YogaLoka, Inc. is a Gainesville, FL-based, 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that provides free Yoga, meditation, and holistic health services to traditionally marginalized and underserved populations, including the homeless and incarcerated, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence. Our vision is to transform mental illness into mental wellness across socioeconomic backgrounds. We believe all humans should have access to the transformative practice of Yoga, regardless of their financial status, living situation, or any physical or mental diagnoses or disabilities. We use a trauma-informed approach, offering services in a safe and supportive way wherever we are called.

Yoga has the potential to transform the physical and mental wellness of those who practice; however, even as it becomes an increasingly popular practice in our society, certain people and populations have been barred from Yoga’s healing benefits. YogaLoka addresses these issues of inaccessibility in the modern Yoga sphere by hosting free and low-cost Yoga and meditation classes to the members of our communities that need it most. The populations we serve through YogaLoka have been marginalized from general society as well as the world of Yoga. With YogaLoka, we seek to foster a Yoga and wellness community inclusive of all backgrounds, abilities, ages, income-levels, and sizes, all while sharing the research-backed benefits of this practice.

We take a holistic model outside of the Yoga studio where it is accessible only to people with financial means. We supplement the work of the many organizations meeting individuals’ most basic needs like housing, food, health care, etc. By bringing research-backed services to these vulnerable populations, we offer an extra layer of potential for healing and transformation. Unlike the generic wellness model, we offer a healing-centered, trauma-informed approach grounded in rehumanizing people and bridging the gap between the ostracized and their communities.

Financiado pelo capítulo Gainesville, FL (January 2020)