Many have experienced the power of yoga. However, this vehicle that promotes mental and physical wellness is not accessible to everyone. Project Yoga Richmond, a yoga non-profit organization in Richmond, Virginia, believes in the power of yoga to transform not only individuals but entire communities.

We make transformations happen by increasing access to yoga in our community through our pay-what-you-can studio with classes seven days a week as well our twenty-outreach programs in the Greater Richmond Region. A few months, ago we posted this photograph on our Instagram and the women in the photograph moved us by sharing her story and how her life has been impacted ever since she came to Project Yoga Richmond.

(Post is available on our blog: http://projectyogarichmond.org/uncategorized/love-your-body)

"Can I be honest with you? When I saw this photo for the first time, over a year ago, I thought “Wow, I look horrible, my god.” But I immediately caught myself and remembered the love that was exchanged that day, in the middle of a parking lot. My body-type may not be what you picture when you think of a yogi, but don’t be fooled. Here’s my story of inclusion and discovering that yoga is for all bodies.I started doing yoga at PYR in the winter. By the time Spring came around I was feeling pretty confident in my practice. Around this time, I heard about the Yoga Flash Mob PYR was holding in Manchester. I, pretty reluctantly, talked myself into doing yoga in front of hundreds of strangers. The “class” was led by Alec Abbott, and he was so kind and funny that I felt compelled to sit up front. I talked myself into it, and I’m so happy I did, that this photo exists, and that it will inspire people to do yoga. I couldn’t hold the pose, so my yoga teacher grabbed my hand to stabilize me, and we all ended up grabbing hands. It was a beautiful gesture and I’ll never, ever forget it. At this moment, I knew that PYR was a special place. This gesture has had a huge impact on me, it has inspired me to continue my path of self-care through movement, it opened me up to try new things, and has always reminded me of the power of inclusion and safe spaces. Yoga is for all bodies, yoga is for all abilities, and sharing your practice is powerful. Big bodies are often erased from the yoga scene, and that is a terrible thing. Bodies need movement, minds need challenges, and our hearts need new experiences. I’m challenging you to get out there and put yourself in a new experience, and don’t ever, ever feel limited by your size."

This #GivingTuesday, PYR has a lot of plans!

First, we are hosting a series of Pop-Up yoga classes leading up to #GivingTuesday: register at http://projectyogarichmond.org/training

On November 29 (#GivingTuesday):

  • Special yoga classes and juice for sale at our pay-what-you-can studio 
    • 5% of Proceeds from Ginger Juice will we donated to PYR
    • T-shirt Screen printing available at the studio all day!
  • Online donations and “Share your story” videos from PYR friends on Facebook and Instagram
    • GivingTuesday Celebration/Birthday Party ticket giveaways throughout the day
  • First $2,000 raised will be matched by a donor (TBA)

On December 3, we are hosting a post-#GivingTuesday / PYR Birthday Celebration, with live music, food, and an auction at our studio!

http://projectyogarichmond.org/donate