2022 got off to an amazing start, with the award of a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. We were so thrilled that our work at the Foundation was supported by this prestigious grant-giving body. Andy Slaughter, Member of Parliament for Hammersmith, came to practise with us at AgeUK to mark the occasion - it turned out to be his first ever yoga class – and Ari, our co-founder and Chair of Trustees, got his moment with a ‘big cheque’.
At the start of the year, the Lumi Foundation team focused our energy on reaching out to partners and getting more classes up and running after the long pandemic years. What a joy that was. We were delighted to welcome back classes at Bayonne and at Gibbs Green Tenant’s Hall in West Kensington. These were long-established before they were forced to close at the outbreak of the pandemic, and we were so happy to catch up with familiar faces along with new yogis who found us for the first time.
Word gets around and as classes opened up in person again, we were asked to start more classes for more communities. We offered classes to the Peabody Estate
in Hammersmith, Percy Bilton Court in Osterley, the Eritrean Women’s community in North Kensington, Addison Primary School, the Refugee Council and Ashchurch Centre in Shepherds Bush, among others.
It was also hugely rewarding to continue to offer classes to our long-established partners, including AgeUK, Maggie’s and Action on Disability. Our Maggie’s reach extended across London to St Bart’s and down to Southampton. Moving on to zoom in 2020 has had some advantages!
Working online allowed us to extend our relationships and to build new ones. We offered some online classes directly and worked with partners such as the Masbro Centre, Maggie’s and Riverside Studios to deliver others. Our mission is to reach as many people as we can, making yoga affordable and accessible, so it is great to enable many of our yogis to enjoy the benefits of practising from home. We aim to continue to offer a variety of classes each week (including chair and yin yoga) which you can join with a click.
Alongside our regular classes, in April we held a wonderful Spring into Spring yin workshop, led by Katie and balanced the seasons with Virginie’s relaxing Autumn Self Care Saturday. Three more of our Foundation teachers trained to teach yin yoga, thanks to a generous grant from Hammersmith United Charities. We are also hugely grateful to HUC for supporting three of our community classes through the year - at Masbro Centre in Brook Green, White City Community Centre and Old Oak Community Centre.
2022 was also notable as Lumi Foundation went to Parliament for the first time, when we were invited to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yoga in Society. This remarkable event focused on yoga’s importance in improving child and adolescent mental health. The group heard that alongside the growing popularity of yoga, there is a growing evidence base supporting the benefits of yoga - something we wholeheartedly agree with!
Seven new yoga teachers went through our Step Up to Reach Out mentorship programme in 2022 - and all are now teaching at the Foundation. We are excited that some of these teachers are in different corners of London - allowing us to extend our reach and continue to grow. We have enjoyed building our community and our team and are constantly learning from each other.
That team ethos really shone through in September when a team of 10 Foundation yogis took on the Ealing Half Marathon. Virginie rallied a team of supporters waving yellow pompoms around the course to keep us going and we certainly needed to see them at mile 11! It was an incredible, emotional day and a wonderful fundraising effort by the whole community - we were so grateful to raise over £6500 for the Foundation.
Our final fundraising event of the year was December’s Festive Flow. Kindly hosted by Lumi Power Yoga, this was such a heartwarming event. The studio was packed to overflowing as we were led through a festive practice by Agnes, followed by a meditation and a riotous drawing of the raffle. The event was a wonderful coming together of our whole community and it was just incredible to see so many yogis coming in from the cold to join in the fun and support us. We were so grateful to everyone who came to join in and to everyone who supported the event with generous raffle and auction prizes. It was an afternoon of fun, laughter, reflection and joy.
Now our challenge is to keep going - to keep making an impact, to manage new contacts flowing in as our reputation grows and to keep spreading the joy of yoga.
Thank you for your incredible support in 2022. We are so excited about the future and are looking forward to seeing you all on the mat (or chair!) in 2023.