Project Yoga Cincinnati

Project Yoga Cincinnati

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This local organization is teaming up with local yoga studios to introduce yoga to beginners. See how Project Yoga can improve your everyday life from the inside out.

021615HEALTH

From poses and stances to meditation and breathing, the idea of yoga can be an intimidating one. That’s where Project Yoga Cincinnati can help.

“We teach to people who have never been exposed to yoga, giving them the chance to experience the emotional and physical wellbeing that can result,” says Project Manager at Project Yoga Cincinnati Amy Banfield. “We assemble a team of certified teachers and provide a curriculum plan for a 6-8 week series of classes.”

During these programs, the team at Project Yoga Cincinnati alternates lead teacher and assistant roles to allow students the benefit of hearing different voices each week. Throughout the course of a program, Banfield says that Project Yoga teaches students poses, meditation techniques and breathing exercises that will address the needs of the entire group.

“The common thread in all Project Yoga programs is teaching people how to find the ease in a pose and calm one’s thoughts,” adds Banfield. “We also focus on teaching breathing techniques that aid in stress relief and help to calm the nervous system.”

Project Yoga’s history dates back to 2008, when it was founded by Katy Knowles and Peter Levin, two of the organization’s current board members. In 2013, Project Yoga was giving official status as a 501(c)3 non-profit. In addition to the board that serves Project Yoga, there are also approximately 30 teachers who work at the different sites teaching yoga programs as well as a Development Team, Fundraising Committee and Program Manager.

Cincinnati joined Project Yoga in 2014 when four studios became engaged to support four programs. These studios include The Shakti Factory, Modo Yoga, Simply Power Yoga and Move Your Hyde. “These partnerships have added teachers to our ranks and will support and sustain Project Yoga into the future,” says Banfield. “Root Down Yoga has also agreed to play host to Project Yoga class fundraising events in the coming months.”

There are multiple classes offered at the participating Project Yoga studios in Cincinnati that will help you reach the goals you have when it comes to starting yoga.

The curriculum for each program is crafted to fit the participants. “We follow a lesson plan, but as the group gets in sync, we have also been known to go off script too,” says Banfield.

Classes at Project Yoga studios are light-hearted and teachers are there to instruct how each pose can be modified so that everyone can participate at the level they’re most comfortable with. There are also tips shared for those who want to develop a yoga and meditation practice at home.
“We emphasize that yoga is not a competitive sport – that’s why we call in a ‘practice,’” says Banfield.

All mats and props are provided, Banfield adds. The team also looks for a room at each facility that has enough clear space to allow participants to practice comfortably, free from people passing through or noisy distractions.

There’s also a mobile cart that holds all Project Yoga mats and props. Those who are interested in bringing Project Yoga to an event, senior center, school or community program should email katy@projectyogacincinnati.org.

An added bonus is that Project Yoga classes are free to those who are participating in programs. Banfield adds that there are also special classes and events at partnering studios and locations throughout Cincinnati that are donation-based. The proceeds from those classes and events are then used to help support and grow current and future Project Yoga programs.

Banfield says that the team at Project Yoga hopes students participating in programs will take what they’ve learned in terms of physical postures, meditations, breathing techniques, stress management, relaxation, compassion and strength off their yoga mats and find a way to incorporate it into their everyday lives. She said Project Yoga also hopes participants will continue their yoga practice beyond their time in the program as well
As for the future, Banfield finishes by saying that Project Yoga Cincinnati is currently working with several organizations, companies and non-profits in the Greater Cincinnati area to build new and strong projects throughout 2015.

To learn more about Project Yoga Cincinnati, visit www.projectyogacincinnati.org.