Featured Campaign: UpRising Yoga

In my quest to find inspiring individuals and organizations connected to yoga, I came across UpRising Yoga. This group of amazing people bring yoga to to youth who might not otherwise receive it – and make an amazing difference in their lives. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, let me share with you how they described their purpose in their own words:

uprisingyogaUpRising Yoga’s mission is to unite resilient kids with resourceful communities. We teach yoga in juvenile halls, detention facilities, probation camps, group homes as well as community centers and schools. The specific populations served are incarcerated youth, children with a history of foster care and/or commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC), and communities that need it most. We also hold trauma sensitive yoga trainings for all – and teach yoga in areas that do not offer yoga, establishing community.

My Personal Connection

I am a former foster parent. I am also a former middle school teacher (Houston, Texas!), and I spent six weeks this summer working with students in a program intended to foster academic support for first generation college students. I tell you my history because it is the reason UpRising Yoga resonated with me. UpRising Yoga goes into places that most people do not and would not. In my experience, the children who occupy these spaces have been labeled and already written off by most of society in ways that are unfair and totally inaccurate. In my own experiences with youth who have been labeled as “troubled” (read – unmotivated and no good), I have found some of the kindest, most compassionate individuals who are trying to figure out how to resolve their issues and live their dreams.

The youth UpRising Yoga works with have histories that will break your heart and make you cry. They are unimaginable and horrible and things I could not handle as an adult – yet they have these experiences as young children. Now, I don’t know any of the youth in the program personally. I do not know their stories. But I know enough stories of youth like them that I feel confident in telling you that you would never want to experience what they have lived. If you have not worked with youth in these scenarios, or if you have not lived it yourself, you simply cannot imagine what they have gone through and the trauma they have to contend with. Whatever you have dreamed up in your head isn’t even close. Trust me.

Background on UpRising Yoga

Jill Ippolito is the Founder and Executive Director of UpRising Yoga, and has been practicing and teaching yoga for over twelve years.  She is dedicated to bringing yoga to incarcerated youth and the communities they come from. Since 2011, UpRising Yoga has taught in juvenile detention facilities, group homes, schools and community centers.  Her work includes Trauma Sensitive Trainings for all, not just yoga teachers.  Jill believes that practicing yoga is something that can be done anywhere at any time. Her overall mission is to ensure that yoga is seen as a healing modality and an effective tool to rehabilitate incarcerated youth in this nation. UpRising’s key principle can be summed up in the mantra that is shared in every class: “Yoga is a gift; no one can take it away from you.”

Jill was formerly in the juvenile hall where UpRising Yoga teaches when she was 17. She has fallen off three buildings, broken her back, had an arm rebuilt, and was in physical therapy for a year before staring a  yoga practice in 2001. She graduated from Bikram Yoga in 2006.

About UpRising Yoga

UpRising Yoga currently provides up to seven classes each week: in three separate units in Central Juvenile Hall, at a boys detention center called Camp Gonzales, and at a girls group home.  They also offer ongoing yoga classes to communities in Wilmington and Hawthorne (California).  On average, up to 65 people – youth and adults alike – participate in their classes each week.
They offer many styles of yoga guided by an UpRising Yoga Curriculum to safely introduce Yoga Life Skills with Mindfulness and Meditation in order to offer a sense of well being as a gift and tool for healing.
UpRising Yoga’s Founder, Jill Ippolito conducts trauma-sensitive yoga trainings for service professionals and yoga teachers, explaining how to safely introduce yoga and mindfulness to incarcerated youth and to those in our communities facing real-life struggles.
They are also working with UCLA to develop a study that proves scientifically that regular yoga practice can be as effective as therapy and medication for mental and physical health.
Get Involved
Do you want to support UpRising Yoga? There are a couple of ways you can do it:
1. Donate money.
2. Buy a t-shirt.
3. Volunteer your time if you are in the area.
If You Are in California….Save the Date!
Upcoming Events:
Saturday, August 9th– Rajashree is teaching a Fundraiser yoga class at Bikram Yoga Huntington Beach!
Save The Date:
Thursday, November 13th we will be hosting a fundraiser honoring our supporters and celebrating community at SBCC in Wilmington. 
Stay Connected!



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. @UpRisingYoga
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 08:32:04

    RT @LeighAHall: Come over and support @UpRisingYoga! http://t.co/boamO4kVi6 #youth


  2. @Joseph_Encinia
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 10:12:01

    Check out this great non-profit organization! http://t.co/66pvMLSqac


  3. @UpRisingYoga
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 11:21:55

    Grateful to be featured on MyBikramYogaLife @LeighAHall Beautiful LeighAHall #yoga #BikramYoga #Rajashree_Yoga… http://t.co/S7tHv2UJ7e


  4. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Aug 23, 2014 @ 17:07:00

    Featured Campaign: UpRising Yoga http://t.co/WDFvuZCs8E


  5. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 16:39:04

    Featured Campaign: UpRising Yoga http://t.co/WpUaClbUCE #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  6. Bill Affourtit (@waffourt)
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 00:06:45

    Featured Campaign: UpRising Yoga :: My Bikram Yoga Life http://t.co/EvB30Jk6Q1


  7. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 06:34:22

    Featured Campaign: UpRising Yoga http://t.co/t5vcjYWmy8 #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: