Building a Sustainable Nonprofit in Yoga Land


In the decade that followed founder Sandra Sammartino stepping back, Yoga Outreach struggled to keep its head above water, both financially and in terms of community support. Beth Sampson, one of the early volunteers, took over as Executive Director. She was a fierce champion of its mission and vowed to build it into a sustainable nonprofit.  What was your goal for Yoga Outreach when you took it on? Beth Sampson: I wanted to bring Yoga Outreach into a wider area and build a community that placed a high value on service, standards, education, and community building. My goal was to make [...]

Building a Sustainable Nonprofit in Yoga Land2021-12-14T19:55:13+00:00

Why I’ll always find time to volunteer


Volunteerism is an important family value of mine. From as early as I can remember, my Grandma and Mom have been avid about donating time and financial resources to their communities. There was an expectation that, if we had privilege, we should reinvest in our communities to help elevate the people who didn’t. The benefits of volunteering are plentiful. Here are four reasons I will always make time to volunteer. Purpose We are all searching for purpose in our lives.  My personal “purpose mission” is to leave the world in a better state than I found it. Caring about others is [...]

Why I’ll always find time to volunteer2020-04-23T10:57:39+00:00

Can yoga help teens with trauma beat addictions and stay out of jail?


Imagine lacking the ability to self-regulate in a place where you are denied a privilege every time you break a rule. And your usual coping methods - drugs or alcohol - are gone, cold turkey. This is the story for many teens with substance issues when they are incarcerated. Why? Trauma. When kids grow up with abuse, significant poverty, neglect, violence or other dangers, coping strategies are limited to survival mode. This means they’re at a severe disadvantage when trying to overcome addictions or avoid conflict with the law. Yoga Outreach conducted a review of trauma studies and found that three [...]

Can yoga help teens with trauma beat addictions and stay out of jail?2019-02-07T10:07:40+00:00

Yes. Volunteering makes you better.


  According to Statistics Canada, 12.7 million Canadians, are happier and healthier than the rest. They also have better career prospects and an extremely high chance of captaining a pub quiz team over age 90. Why? Because they spend a few hours a month volunteering.   Volunteering makes you stronger.    If you’re like many with a sedentary day job, you’ll struggle more with ailments like painful posture, weaker bones, and higher blood pressure as years go on.   But not if you volunteer. Sorting hampers at a food bank or taking seniors to appointments gets your blood pumping and keeps [...]

Yes. Volunteering makes you better.2019-01-07T17:28:53+00:00

Girls Only – How trauma changes the brain


Girls’ brains react differently than boys’  Girls process trauma differently than boys. Apparently, estrogen prompts a larger area of neurons to fire during adverse events, leading girls to remember traumatic incidents for longer and with more intensity than boys.   You might remember Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s recent testimony that the reason she could remember the faces and laughter of the two young men who tried to rape her when she was 15 was because of chemicals released by the brain during stress. It’s why those memories haven’t faded or stopped affecting her behaviour 40 years later.     Faced with [...]

Girls Only – How trauma changes the brain2018-12-06T16:00:22+00:00

Yoga in your Socks


By Wendy Goldsmith In teacher training, we learned yoga MUST be done barefoot. What if your student split in half doing wide-legged forward fold on your watch? Yikes. Plus, they can’t draw energy up from the earth through a barrier of cotton-acrylic blend. With the exception of savasana, socks are a no-no in the studio.   But when I started teaching in social service settings, my students were often low-income or newcomers to Canada. I discovered nobody was taking off their socks. I tried to lead by example, worrying aloud about danger, talking about the foundational significance of the feet. Still, [...]

Yoga in your Socks2018-11-23T12:51:34+00:00

Rika Lange on Volunteering with Justice Involved Youth


How did you get involved with yoga outreach? It was through a friend who was volunteering with Yoga Outreach after taking the core training. I had just completed my teacher training and wanted to volunteer with Yoga Outreach.   What were your thoughts of the Core Training? It was outstanding …one of the best trainings that I have done. The space that Nicole created to learn in was amazing, and the information taught made sense; it really applies to so many situations.   What was your first impression of Yoga Outreach? My first impression of Yoga Outreach was through the Core [...]

Rika Lange on Volunteering with Justice Involved Youth2018-04-20T10:04:07+00:00

Our Board Chair On Volunteering with Yoga Outreach


Tell me how you first got involved in with YO? I can't believe it's been 10 year since I first got involved in YO! In 2007, I was a brand new baby lawyer and about to start working with marginalized clients in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. I was also a pretty devoted yoga practitioner and wanted to explore how I could combine these two things that were so important to me. I'm pretty sure I actually googled "yoga" and "outreach" - or maybe it was "yoga" and "prisons" - and I found Yoga Outreach. I was so excited that there was an [...]

Our Board Chair On Volunteering with Yoga Outreach2018-04-18T12:09:55+00:00


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