NY 1 Article:
Growing up in public housing, Jaytaun McMillan never thought he'd practice yoga, let alone teach it.
“When you come to these places, you see liquor stores and things like that. You don't see yoga studios on the corner here. When you're in an upscale or nice environment, they've got yoga studios, gyms, fitness, the things that better your life,” said McMillan.
In an effort to change lives in the Baisley Housing Project, McMillan and a few other "Urban Yogis" decided to bring the practice to the residents for free.
Once a week, they hold a class in the project courtyard for anyone interested.
The yoga program is part of "Life Camp" -- a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing violence in the community.
“It's about changing the inner you, so that you can be one of compassion, one of non-judgment, one of you know, really success in your own vision and your own mission in life,” said Erica Ford, the founder of Life Camp.
The Urban Yogis first got involved with Life Camp three years ago.
They became teaching assistants through a training program and now lead classes in studios and in public schools.
For them, the benefits reach far beyond the physical.
“It gives you a moment in time to let everything go and just be in tune with your breath, or just be in tune with yourself,” said Makeesha Hill.
“Yoga practice actually grounds you, all those fluctuations that's going through your mind comes in an end you're able to just be,” added Juquille Johnston.
The Yogis hope they inspire others to take up the practice.
“When you make a peaceful you, then you create a peaceful environment. You start changing things, you start planting the seeds and watch them grow,” said Jaytaun McMillan.
And so, for helping others find peace within themselves and in the community, the Urban Yogis are our Queens People of the Week.