Yoga comes to ICEF Charter Schools

icef_twitter2 Urban Girls is VERY excited to learn about this new partnership between a local Inglewood entrepreneur and an established charter school founded by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

Salena Collins, owner of Clear Gardens Yoga Studio (CGY), the first of its kind in Inglewood, California, has partnered with the Inner City Education Foundation Charter Schools (ICEF) to roll out a yoga and mindfulness curriculum for its various locations. Known as The Balance of Life Project, this program will give the students and staff of ICEF schools an opportunity to practice yoga and learn mindfulness techniques through a series of workshops accessible to all ages.

“Today’s students face countless challenges. The drive to achieve academically and thrive socially often saddles students with tremendous stress, which can manifest in their bodies and performance at school”, said Collins.  Similarly, teachers and staff face numerous challenges that take a toll on their emotional and physical well-being. Recognizing the high-stress, high-stakes environment of many schools, The Balance of Life Project offers a simple and effective way to help students and staff lead healthier and happier lives.

The Balance of Life Project consists of a pre-training session, on-site training, and post-training follow-up and support. Participants will begin by setting clear expectations and goals for themselves, followed by guided practice exercises with strategies for morning focus and afternoon relaxation, among other techniques. Once on-site sessions have finished, participants may choose to continue practicing yoga in the Clear Gardens Studio or in additional group classes.

Collins wishes to bring the many benefits of yoga to the youth.  In addition to providing a healthy outlet for everyday stress, the yoga sessions coupled with mindfulness training can help students and staff improve concentration, reduce tension, learn to regulate emotions, and become more engaged in learning and teaching. The Balance of Life Project creates a space for students and staff to recalibrate physically, mentally and psychologically. In this vein, it embraces and endorses the mantra: ‘When teachers feel better, students achieve more.’

More About Salena Collins

Salena Collins has been practicing yoga for more than 8 years and opened Clear Gardens Yoga Studio in 2012.  She is an alumni of YogaWorks where she mastered the practice of vinyasa flow.

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