Many kids who grow up surrounded by violence have never experienced peace, genuine self-confidence, and love. Holistic Life Foundation is not just about teaching yoga and mindfulness, which are incredibly effective tools for reducing stress and cultivating self-regulation. We also model a new way of being: We treat the kids with kindness and respect. They see us keep cool under pressure, and respond to aggression with calmness and focus. As a result, their behavior begins to change as well.
To work effectively with young people from violent backgrounds, HLF has developed a replicable program that blends trauma-informed mindful movement (yoga) with relaxing breathing exercises, and teaches students to defuse negative emotions, maintain calm, and make good decisions. We also train our students to lead mindfulness sessions themselves, so they also can share with their family and friends outside of school. This is a huge confidence builder. (Our philosophy is "reach one, teach one.")