Vinyasa Yoga for Youth (VYFY) is a registered non-proft that was founded in 2008 by Ryan Leier and Kristine Divall. Our goal is to build meaningful connections with youth through the practice of yoga. Our programs engage youth in a fun way and aim to foster self-awareness, encourage an enhanced capacity for compassion, and promote healthy living choices for themselves and their community.
We currently connect with almost 4000 children in the city of Saskatoon and have trained over 220 specialized Yoga for Youth instructors. Just recently we have expanded into Golden, BC!
The programs we offer happen primarily in schools but we often work within day camps, boys and girls clubs, after-school programs, and treatment centres. Sometimes we work with a group of youth on a singular occasion, but often our programs are long-term and we are able to establish deeper connections.
Our Yogi In Residence (YIR) program plays a fundamental role in the relationship-building between VYFY and the students. This three-year partnership with a school or organization puts one of our teachers into a school to form unified relationships and an understanding of the values and practices of yoga.
We currently have six YIR placements in Saskatoon within Elementary Schools, High Schools, and the Calder Centre, a youth treatment centre.
Inspiring courageous and mindful youth in their communities with tools to experience and embody holistic wellness.
Bringing the power and peace of yoga to youth everywhere through direct access, skill delivery, and collaboration.
How We Do That
Our VYFY ambassador are called into communities to experience and share yoga and mindfulness practices which enhance self empowerment, deep relationship and community building.
-Our team will visit the community to host yoga classes for students
-We make yoga mats and resources available to schools to support continued wellness
-We offer professional development workshops and yoga teacher trainings
The Roots Intensive:
Immerse yourself in the practice, learn ways to integrate yoga poses, mindfulness and breathing and other aspects of wellness into the work you are already doing with youth.
This is a training for anyone who works with youth - school teachers, school counselors, EA’s and ECE’s, coaches, community center employees, youth care workers, etc.
In this training, along with a deeper understanding of the benefits for youth, you will be given tools that will teach you to care for yourself first! From our own self care we can more effectively serve others.
This training brings together yoga, education, social justice & youth at risk in a meaningful and relevant way. Being grounded in these topics allows student's to explore and expand their knowledge of ways to reach youth and empower them through yoga practice.
We offer both 1/2 day and full day professional development days for school teachers.
You can expect to from the day:
• Learn the many ways in which Yoga and Mindfulness benefit children and youth
• Learn direct ways to share Yoga and Mindfulness in the classroom setting
• Experience Yoga and mindfulness practices
• Meet a community of classroom teachers and yoga teacher passionate about sharing these experiences with youth
Who is the workshop a good fit for:
Anyone who is currently working with youth (ages 3- 18), who is passionate about yoga and mindfulness but possibly unsure of how to get started in the classroom setting.
“The depth of this training has really been invaluable to grow in to a well aware, well rounded teacher role. The breadth and quality of the sessions and variety of presenters has been amazing”.
“Blessed for this training”
“ The training was very thorough, more than i expected or could have imagined”
” Very heavy self- development and social awareness”
We've teamed up with Here To Be to offer scholarships to our teacher trainings and intensives. We invite anyone from our partner communities or a remote, underserved northern community that would like to bring yoga to the youth they work with to apply for a scholarship.
why vinyasa yoga for youth exists: to connect youth to their personal power and the influence they have on the well-being of the world
This program takes place in the 17 community Elementary Schools in Saskatoon. Each school is matched with one of our Yoga teachers, who spend a 1/2 day / week for 8 weeks at the school. During their 1/2 day they teach Yoga to around 90 students. Many students have experienced the program as it has been running since 2010.
Since 2008 our teachers have been sharing Yoga regularly in many of the high schools in Saskatoon. In many of the inner city high schools we offer regular weekly yoga classes, both as extra-curricular, and during class time. We also like to bring high school students from around the city together. We do this at our Yoga Retreats. The retreats are either a full or 1/2 day and take place at a local yoga studio. We invite 5- 10 students from various schools to attend. During the retreat we spend time both practicing yoga together and learning about Yogic philosophy and how we can apply the teachings in our own life. Currently we have an open class 1 Friday afternoon each month for any youth to attend at no cost.
One of the area’s we have experienced a large impact and connection with youth is at the Calder Centre. Calder Centre is a Youth addictions treatment centre in Saskatoon. We have had a Yoga teacher sharing yoga there once a week for a several years. Although she may only spend 2-4 yoga sessions with the youth while they are there, we have seen many of these continue to practice yoga after leaving the centre. We have received funding from Affinity Credit Union for a partial Yogi In Residence at Calder Centre.
Our instructors are regularly called to schools and organizations to offer yoga to youth in the community. We tailor these offerings to meet the needs of the students being served and this can be anything from an hour class to a full year program or teaching a workshop to staff.
The Yogi In Residence program idea was planted back when Vinyasa Yoga for Youth was founded. The idea first took roots at Bishop Klein school in Saskatoon in 2013. The program partners a yoga teacher with a school for 3 years, working with the same students and following them from grade 4,5,6 - grade 6,7,8. The program also matches the school with a funder, who commits to funding the program for 3 years.
A major pillar for this program is the relationships build between the yoga teacher and students. Therefore, it is important to have the Yoga teacher with the same students for 3 years. We find the first year is about establishing, interest, trust and routine. In year 2 and 3 we really see the program flourish.
The Yogi works with classroom teacher, the school community coordinator and administration team to help infuse the school community with yoga. The ways in which this might happen are numerous and it's important to find ways to infuse yoga that work for the particular school. Some schools have yoga clubs, some have teacher practices. At some schools the Yogi spend time in the classroom linking yoga with the school curriculum.
Yogi- Dwight | School- Bishop Klein
Yogi- Lauren | Calder Centre
We would love to hear from you. Send us a note if you are a classroom teacher or youth worker wanting to book some yoga classes, or are interested in becoming a certified Vinyasa Yoga for Youth teacher. We know the success of our organization relies on community connection and collaboration. Drop us a line anytime! firstname.lastname@example.org
90 33rd Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0S1