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“Yoga Is For Everybody”: Partnership Makes Yoga Accessible for Students and Community Members

SNHU GEM graduates formed a partnership between Ikhaya le Langa and YogaLife in South Africa to provide students and community members with yoga classes and training opportunities.

At Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement (SNHU GEM), we know that what happens outside the classroom is a major factor in academic success, including physical and mental wellness. In Cape Town, South Africa, two SNHU GEM graduates helped create a partnership between the nonprofit Ikhaya le Langa and the YogaLife studios, to bring yoga to SNHU GEM students and Langa Quarter community members.

This partnership originated with the Women Are Power initiative at Ikhaya le Langa, which aims to transform women’s lives through education and wellness programs. The YogaLife team leads weekly yoga classes for the Langa Quarter community, and SNHU GEM students and staff work with Ikhaya le Langa to support and coordinate these efforts.

“Yoga can be so beneficial for all, mentally, emotionally, and physically,” explains Kristi Goodman, YogaLife Manager. “It has the power to heal, relieve stress, strengthen the physical body, and develop a safe space to experience all parts of life.” 

Kristi Goodman, YogaLife Manager, with yoga students from SNHU GEM and the Langa Quarter community.

Recently, a SNHU GEM graduate received a YogaLife Teacher Training Scholarship – a scholarship program offered by YogaLife to offset the cost of yoga classes and materials, for interested practitioners who are black, indigenous, or people of color. These scholarships cover the full cost of the 200-hour training to become a yoga instructor. 

“We believe yoga is for everybody, and we also know that it is inaccessible to many for various reasons. Our aim in this relationship is to try and remove some of these barriers to make the practice more inclusive and accessible,” says Kristi. 

As the YogaLife partnership continues to grow, its members are seeking more ways to make yoga accessible to the SNHU GEM and Langa Quarter communities. Kristi hopes to increase the number of yoga sessions that YogaLife offers so that newly-graduated teachers have an opportunity to start leading their own classes right away. She also describes an idea that would allow practitioners and supporters to “Sponsor a Yogi,” who would be invited to attend classes for free at the YogaLife studio in De Waterkant, Cape Town.

“There are so many things we could do. We would like to meet the needs of the SNHU GEM and Ikhaya Le Langa communities,” she concludes.