Niroga News - 2009

Changing the Face of Yoga

The Niroga Institute aims to use the practice to teach self-discipline and help youths break the cycle of violence. Exploring the work of Niroga Institute in Alameda County Juvenile Hall.

Holistic Solutions to Violence: part 1

Bay Area reporters shed light on the many perspectives around roots and solutions to violence in Oakland, featuring Niroga Institute founder and executive director, Bidyut Bose.

Yoga's Calming Influence on Crime

After discovering yoga through a Niroga Institute program, teenager Genai Powers overcame a downward spiral of stress, depression, violence and substance abuse. Now Genai aspires to help others just as she was helped by Niroga.

Healing Ourselves and Healing Our Communities

International Journal of Yoga Therapy article by BK Bose
As a prevention and intervention strategy, Yoga has the potential to substantially impact our physical health. But is it possible that the impact of Yoga therapy could extend well beyond that? Have we defined the field too narrowly by focusing primarily on individual health and well-being? Can therapeutic Yoga transform education, community crime and violence, or global sustainability?

Niroga at Nystrom Elementary School, Richmond

The kids at Nystrom are so much fun! They love sun salutations and 'sleepy' time. There are between 15 and 20 boys and girls in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in our after-school class, which is held twice a week. There are a few students with ADHD, some whose families are currently homeless (and will talk about moving around a lot), some who have recently, or repeatedly, witnessed violence, and others with physical aggression issues.

Minority Yoga Teachers to Mentor Gang-Involved Youth

In a collaboration between Niroga Institute and Alameda County Public Health Department, Niroga's Integral Health Fellow (IHF) yoga teacher trainees and newly graduated yoga teachers will mentor high-risk youth attempting to put their gang involvement behind them.

Niroga Presents at Teaching for Social Justice Conference

Niroga participated in The Teachers for Social Justice conference on October 10, 2009 at Mission High School in San Francisco. Teachers for Social Justice is a grassroots non-profit teacher support and development organization providing opportunities for self-transformation, leadership, and community building to ~1,500 educators to affect meaningful change in the classroom, school, community and society.

One Step at a Time - Juvenile Hall Yoga Class

The young man in our Niroga class is 15 years old and has been in a gang since he was 12. He is scheduled to be transferred to California Youth Authority (CYA) from Juvenile Hall. One of his good friends was recently transferred to CYA and shortly after his arrival was put in the hospital by a rival gang member for two weeks due to a fight. I have been concerned that when our student arrives at the "Y", he might feel compelled to retaliate in order to defend his friend.

One Breath at a Time - Drug and Alcohol Rehab Yoga Class

For the last three weeks, I have had the pleasure of teaching yoga at one of our drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Oakland. It is very inspiring to watch a group of individuals going through detox and withdrawals, let their guards down, put their trust in me as well as their own breath, and find a place of total peace and relaxation within themselves.

Niroga Graduates First Class of Minority Certified Yoga Teachers

With Integral Health Fellowships (IHF) provided by the Alameda County Department of Public Health via Bay Area Black United Fund, 13 young adults of color graduated from a rigorous 2-year Training Program of Niroga Institute. Each Fellow is committed to offering 100 hours of community service in a pay-forward model, so that vulnerable populations in our community will benefit from 1,300 hours of community service this year by this trained team of certified yoga teachers.

El Cerrito High School In Class Program Shines

A pilot program funded by Full Circle Fund brought the Niroga Transformative Life Skills (TLS) program – a 15-minute protocol including yoga, breathing techniques and meditation – to 15 classrooms with 472 students at El Cerrito High School during the Fall 2008 semester. Students and teachers were enthusiastic about the work, and research to assess the impact of the work showed promising results...