Y.O.G.A. FOR YOUTH:
YOUR OWN GREATNESS AFFIRMED
Check out about Y.O.G.A. for Youth, a project that since 1998 has served over 20,000 young people in Los Angeles County alone. This non-profit organization assists youth and families in underserved communities through the principles and practices of yoga.
PROJECT NAME: Y.O.G.A. for Youth - Your Own Greatness Affirmed
COUNTRY: United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe and China.
DESCRIPTION: Y.O.G.A. for Youth handles and assists youth and families in underserved communities through the principles and practices of yoga and mindfulness.
PEOPLE SERVED: Youth and families in underserved communities.
STARTING YEAR: 1998
PEOPLE IN CHARGE: Keval Kaur Khalsa (Regional Director in North Carolina, USA); Shama Davis and Phil Kreutzer (Co-Directors USA)
Back in 1994, the three-strikes law was incorporated in the United States. The law meant that if anyone had received three felonies (and felony charges could be for something fairly minor), they would automatically need to serve 25 years to life in prison.
Krishna Kaur, a native black woman from Los Angeles, California, and who had been doing yoga most of her adult life, saw this as an attack on young people of color, and particularly young men of color. So, being a kundalini yogi, her response was to give young people tools so that maybe they wouldn’t make that third strike.
She began by teaching yoga, along with art and theater, as part of an Upward Bound program. This one was run out of the University of Southern California, which serves young people who come from homes where there's not been college attendance and young people aspiring to go to college. In that program, they realized that really just doing math, science and reading was not enough, and that these young people really needed additional support because they were coming from challenging environments.
She was then introduced to a director of a juvenile detention facility in the Los Angeles area, and was asked to bring yoga into the detention center. That’s how ‘Y.O.G.A. for Youth’ started growing up in that scenario where teachers were going into juvenile detention facilities and bringing yoga into this environment.
Since then, Y.O.G.A. for Youth has been acting throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe and China.
Keval Kaur is the co-founder of Y.O.G.A. for Youth-NC, the Y.O.G.A. for Youth Chapter in North Carolina. Keval Kaur has been teaching Kundalini Yoga & Meditation for the past 20 years in locations in North America, South America, and Africa. She owns Kundalini Yoga Durham, a donation-based community yoga space in Durham, NC, and is dedicated to making Kundalini Yoga available to underserved populations.
She serves the project as the Regional Director in North Carolina. For her, Seva means selfless service. That’s what she does for Y.O.G.A. for Youth and what she plans to continue doing for many years to come.