Monday, October 31, 2011

the Kula Project Benefit for the Care Center in Holyoke

Breaking barriers … lifting spirits … inspiring young women to excel intellectually and academically … providing access to arts and culture … supporting struggling young families as they move toward self-sufficiency … shifting from a community dealing with the challenges of poverty to one that is a leader in innovative education reform — these define the work of The Care Center.

Many years ago, the director of Yoga Sanctuary Sara Rose began a very special relationship with the Care Center in Holyoke. Breaking barriers, lifting spirits and inspiring students was nothing new to Sara. It is actually a great love and commitment she has held for for 10 plus years now. Anna Neiman, Yoga Sanctuary's current teacher of the Care Center's yoga classes shares this commitment. Anna's joyful presence greets the girls twice a week wherever they are. Her openness and acceptance allows them to be themselves and immerse themselves into the gifts of yoga.

Bringing yoga to pregnant and parenting teens has been one of the ways Yoga Sanctuary reaches out to the Community. We have enjoyed this relationship so much that when their funding was cut for outside services we refused to walk away. The Kula Project headed up by Kendra Hodgson has now stepped in to aid us in raising funds to keep the yoga program for the Care Center going.

The Care Center is an alternative education program for pregnant and parenting teens who have dropped out of high school. Before coming to The Care Center, many of our students say they had fallen out of love with learning, that they didn’t think of themselves as smart, and that school was not for them. All students attending The Care Center previously dropped out of school, most before getting pregnant. They were on track for minimum wage jobs, with public assistance as a safety net. Yet every single one of our students wanted a better life for themselves and their children; they just did not have the tools to get there.

Yoga Sanctuary has been a vital part of this process by exposing these young students to the benefits of yoga, giving them tools to rejuvenate themselves and find more joy in life. Please join us this Saturday, November 5 from 11:30am - 1:30pm for a special all levels yoga class to raise awareness and funds to support the yoga program at YS.

You can also donate online by clicking here:

Any amount is appreciated and will provide so much to those who are working so hard to build a better future for themselves and their children.

Written by Susan Elena Esquivel