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  • Rebecca Foster

Yoga for Humanity: International Yoga Day 2022

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

June 2022 marks the eighth International Yoga Day (IYD) since the event was established by the United Nations in 2015. This year’s theme, Yoga for Humanity, is something that most yogis practicing with the Lumi Foundation – either online or in real life – are probably familiar with already.

The concept draws on the community connection that yoga offers all of us, particularly the support, reassurance and stability that the practice offered during the pandemic.

Throughout the (many) lockdowns and restrictions we experienced, yoga provided a constant source of community and connection to come back to, helping to alleviate feelings of social isolation.

According to the UN, “The essence of yoga is balance – not just balance within the body or that between the mind and body, but also balance in the human relationship with the world.”

“Yoga can be an instrument in the collective quest of humanity for promoting a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with planet Earth. In keeping with this spirit, the theme for this year’s IYD celebrations is Yoga for Humanity.”

Curious about what yoga communities are getting up to on the other side of the world? Find out more, here…

Africa Yoga Project

Since it was established in 2007, Africa Yoga Project (AYP) has grown to the point where it now delivers classes to more than 6,000 people, in more than 300 weekly yoga classes, in 80 locations in 21 countries across the African continent.

As well as providing communities with access to yoga classes that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, AYP is helping to alleviate the problem of youth unemployment by providing jobs for more than 400 trained teachers. Every week, more than 350 people gather at AYP’s community centre in Nairobi, Kenya, for a community yoga session.

Yoga Outreach

After experiencing trauma, many people report a feeling of numbness, or a sense of disconnection from their bodies. Based in Canada, Yoga Outreach aims to create a safe space where people can do yoga to support the process of healing. Each year, the charity delivers more than 1,000 trauma informed yoga classes to social service agencies and partner programmes across British Columbia. Trauma informed classes provide a safe, welcoming environment where yogis can reconnect with their physicality. All the teachers at Yoga Outreach undergo specialist training, giving them the tools to understand how to create trauma informed classes where yogis feel safe and supported.

The Yoga Impact Charity

The Yoga Impact Charity (TYIC) provides evidence-based trauma informed yoga classes in Australia. As well as yoga, TYIC’s methodology incorporates techniques from somatic therapy and psychology.

“Our approach is trauma informed and recognizes that trauma profoundly impacts our psychological and physiological composition and that it puts people at risk of re-traumatisation, mental illness and chronic disease,” says the TYIC website.

“As yoga teachers, we want to be aware of how we can create a safe space for people under those circumstances, facilitate a safe environment for healing and be mindful of how we relate to people.”

Working alongside the government, schools and not-for-profit organisations, the charity shares yoga within various community groups, including refugees, survivors of domestic violence, Indigenous people and frontline healthcare workers.

Yoga Gives Back

This charity does exactly what it says in the tin – giving back to India, the home of yoga. Through donations, sponsorships and other fundraising initiatives, Yoga Gives Back (YGB) focuses on supporting the challenges presented by poverty and related social issues. In the last 14 years, the charity has helped to empower more than 2,400 women and children in India, giving people access to opportunities and education.

For instance, YGB’s Sister Aid programme provides microloans to 550 mothers and primary education to 600 girls and abandoned children. Plus, their Scholarship for Higher Education Scheme provides 400 disadvantaged youths in Karnatake and West Bengal the opportunity to move into higher education. Read more about the charity’s fantastic work, here.

Closer to home. . .

Of course, our deep dive into community yoga wouldn’t be complete without an update on what the Lumi Foundation is getting up to in London. Since our inception in 2017, we have empowered thousands of people across the city with our weekly classes and programmes like 40 Days and Stronger Together.

We offer chair and mat-based classes for adults, children with disabilities, elderly groups, asylum seekers, refugees and people going through cancer treatment/recovery – to name a few. Last year, the Foundation reached almost 10,000 yogis. Now in 2022, we are delivering 30 classes a week, building community and connection everywhere we go. Our range of classes is designed to suit all abilities and all ages – everyone is welcome! Find our online class schedule here, and in person classes here.

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