Two large yellow school busses arrive early Saturday morning at 155 West 69th Street, Los Angeles, California. Over 80 students scurry off the bus and proceed into the multipurpose room in preparation for a youth leadership training summit. As students sip Caprisun in one hand and bite into a raspberry danish from the other, they discuss about three prominent issues on campus: mental health, physical health, and bullying/violence. As a united a group, the students come up with a list of solutions, including a yoga program, which will support the mental and physical health of their community.
As an educator, I hope to provide a multi-disciplinary yoga program for students who are poised in shaping their future academic and professional careers. My goal of becoming a yoga teacher is twofold:
1) to promote healthy living, and
2) to serve as a vehicle for behavior intervention to the community at Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School, located in South Central Los Angeles, California. I hope to create positive and catalytic yoga experiences that energize the creative, educational, and life opportunities of students, teachers, and families, specifically in an underserved community.
I first stepped into a yoga class in 2005 and over the years, I have learned to define this journey as a lifelong practice. Constantly inspired by my peers and students, I learn to challenge myself intellectually, physically, and spiritually through a non-competitive, non-judgmental environment. I believe such a foundation is essential at Bethune Middle School for lifetime wellness—to be mindful of one’s body and his/her surrounding environments.
I believe with a yoga teacher certification at Yoga Blend, I can enhance my understanding of interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to yoga for underserved youth. Because the training program is so individualized, I can craft my interests and create experiences at the school’s community center. As a certified Yoga Blend instructor, I would have an incredible array of styles and traditions of yoga enabling me to design an integral yoga program as outreach in our school and the community as a whole. Connecting yoga and learning to the community cannot only build a foundation of meaningful experiences, but a stronger community as well.
Through my experiences in working with youth, I understand the importance of expanding my repertoire as an educator to further my impact within schools and the community. In collaboration with the physical education department, the Parent Center, the Clipper’s Foundation, the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation, the American Heart Association, and Healthy Start; I aim to connect all our resources to develop a comprehensive, inclusive yoga program for the entire Bethune Family.
Starting with a yoga program at the school’s community center, I can teach during nutrition, lunch, after school, and family fitness days. Empowering the students first, followed by the parents and teachers, is key in systemic change and sustainability. This way, yoga will be accessible for years to come. Through teaching yoga, I can create an environment within which young people and adults are creative and important, are freed from barriers self-imposed or imposed by others, and can make connections between their daily lives and the roles they assume in society. It is an environment in which students and teachers succeed as learners and as a community with a fulfilling present and a hopeful future.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Amy Chou
If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!
Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.