Urban Yoga Foundation bringing inner peace to urban communities

BRONX—You can feel the energy change from busy to calm once you enter the library at P.S. 363 in the Bronx.

These middle school kids get to practice an hour and a half of yoga at least once a week, thanks to the folks at Urban Yoga Foundation.

"It really helps you think about your day and be relaxed and calm," one student said.

They’re at an age where things like yoga aren’t necessarily “cool,” but you can tell instructors, like Chanou, have really reached these kids.

"Every kid is different. Some locations it may take me 3 weeks, a month, to get them to really, really understand," instructor, Chanou Wiltshire said.

Urban Yoga Foundation set its roots down 25 years ago, created by a single mom who was hoping it would help her bond with her own daughter.

“Brought the program to her school and I saw the need of black and brown children, especially in marginalized communities not understanding who they are," founder Ghylian Bell said.

So far, it’s reached 600,000 kids… and counting!

"What do these kids do for you," Mr. G asked.

"They heal me. They really do and they think I’m healing them but truly the healing is within me," Wiltshire said.

And the school’s principal says he sees the difference yoga is making on his students.

"Because they’re able to control themselves, bring it back, relax, center themselves and then manage the situation," principal Angelo Ledda explained.

"When I’m having a hard time, some of the things we do here it helps me with my stress," one student commented.

"The benefits are tremendous. Feel that Mr. G? That’s your own healing power," Bell said.

Namaste.​