Horizons for Homeless Children Helps Kids Through Yoga - NECN

Horizons for Homeless Children Helps Kids Through Yoga

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    Horizons for Homeless Children helps kids through yoga

    The Boston non-profit is using the ancient art to teach kids healthy life skills (Published Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014)

    (NECN: Josh Brogadir) - Old meets new. The art and form of yoga has lasted the test of time - and there's still a first.

    This is the first session and only the second class of preschool yoga at Horizons for Homeless Children in Boston, and the oldest of these kids is age 5.

    "Most grownups are pretty surprised about what kids are capable of doing," said yoga instructor Christyn Schroeder.

    Horizons has been involved in the world of helping kids since 1988.

    What these homeless children go through when they are not here at Horizons is unimaginable to most of us.

    Active and healthy inside these walls, constantly moving around and growing up in shelters is the outside world the children have come to know.

    "Yoga is used for everybody to strengthen their bodies, to calm their minds, and to really help cultivate a brave heart. And these kids specifically could use those things," said Schroeder, who is the founder of KidPowerment Yoga.

    "Let's make a big long giraffe neck, can you bend one knee?" she said to the kids.

    The chaos is organized, the excitement palpable. There are frog jumps and breathing along with a magic ball, and there is downward facing dog and a sun salute.

    "And so learning to go within to find your own physical strength, mental strength, and emotional strength is a tool that we can all use," Schroeder added.

    And why not attempt to channel those strengths myself, all in the name of health and wellness, of course.

    "What the yoga practice can bring to them hopefully is the ability to have those tools to find the peace and calm within themselves when the rest of their world isn't feeling that way," Schroeder said.

    When these kids leave Horizons for Homeless at the end of the day, perhaps they can call on that breathing, that play, that new foundation of this old spiritual practice.

    "Namaste, namaste, thank you friends," she said.

    You can help as well.

    For as little as $15 a month, you can help Horizons for Homeless Children give a child the opportunity to learn, play and thrive. Call 800-650-6219 or click here to make a donation.