The Yogi-in-Residence program began at the Core-Neighbourhood Youth Coop (CNYC) in October 2015. This program was developed by Vinyasa Yoga for Youth (VYFY), and provides the youth with access to yoga both on and off the mat 8 hours a week. Right now, Yogi-in-Residence, Lauren Scruton spends Mondays and Fridays at CNYC supporting the youth in introductory yoga classes, breathing exercises, and seated meditation. Yoga off of the mat has been introduced in such exercises as a daily offering of each individual’s gratitude prior to our lunch-time shared meal.
The various programs offered at CNYC are supported through Lauren’s participation, and she too is supported by her peers through their attendance of the bi-weekly classes. The youth membership at the CNYC have opportunity to learn skills and earn some money through working on various projects in the woodshop. One of the newest projects is the building of yoga props used in the classes at the CNYC and at VYFY affiliate studio, One Yoga Saskatoon.
Once a month the group is invited to a special class held at One Yoga. This group practice is attended by other teens in the city as well. Recently, CNYC’s Culture Camp Coordinator, Kelley Bird-Naytowhow, as well as some of the active members of CNYC designed and built a new cedar deck in the on-site greenhouse. This project will be used for future yoga classes (as well as many other gatherings) offered to the members of CNYC and the community at large. This project was partially funded by VYFY’s sponsor, and CNYC’s down-the-road neighbour: Leyda’s Restaurant.
In it’s first year of programming, the Yogi-in-Residence has developed roots and cross-pollination with and for the people at the CNYC, thanks to Lauren’s dedication to both her practice and working with youth. Her focus on self-care and physical well-being through yoga has strengthened other programming offered at CNYC and extended to youth new ways to foster holistic growth in themselves.