“At first, I didn’t think I would like yoga but now I find myself looking forward to it all week. I even started practicing on my own and teaching it to my daughter. All of my stresses build up and build up and yoga is something that helps me handle them. I think it even helps me be a better mother.”

– Jayla, Brookview Home for Women and Children resident

Hands to Heart Center-Yoga for the People (HTHC) shares the healing practice of yoga with people living with addiction, poverty and trauma in Boston. HTHC serves Boston’s most vulnerable communities, including homeless men, women and children, women living in domestic violence shelters, students of high-poverty schools, children with special needs, adults in treatment for substance abuse disorder, and veterans. HTHC mobilizes trained yoga teacher volunteers to provide free, inclusive, accessible yoga classes within these communities– communities who stand to benefit the most from yoga and mindfulness practices, but with the least access to it.A regular yoga practice has been proven to alleviate anxiety, depression, stress and trauma, while promoting health and wellness, building capacity and increasing resilience.

“I teach a classroom of students with social-emotional challenges in a high-poverty Boston Public School. Many of my students struggle with anxiety, depression and stress along with all of the other disadvantages of poverty. Their weekly HTHC yoga class not only teaches them social-emotional learning skills, it all gives them tools to manage their emotions and regulate their behavior. Plus, it’s so fun and it brings us closer together as a community!”

– Patrick, BPS Teacher

HTHC is Boston’s only yoga service and action organization. However, HTHC doesn’t receive any government or corporate funding, so we rely on individual donations and fundraisers to support our mission of bringing yoga to the people. To this end, we are always striving to connect with like-minded partners to help us sustain and expand our programs.

_mg_97962016 was a truly remarkable year for HTHC! We received great press from Boston Magazine, BU Today and Huffington Post, celebrated our two-year anniversary, raised funding to create a part-time program coordinator position, provided regular volunteer trainings and celebrations and will have led over 1,000 free yoga classes by the end of this year. For a young, grassroots nonprofit we’ve been able to accomplish so much with such limited resources, all because of the support of dedicated community members like you.

“We know how effective yoga can be as a treatment for trauma but none of our clients can afford it or would feel comfortable even going to a yoga studio. HTHC brings yoga to us and does it in a way that makes students feel comfortable and safe. I’m so happy I found out about HTHC and have been absolutely delighted with the quality of the teachers and the care and professionalism of the staff.”

– Angela, HTHC Community Partner Director

But there is still SO much work to do, and with your support, HTHC plans to make great strides in achieving some new and ambitious goals in 2017. We want to launch our new Yoga Coach Program, which will train HTHC students to teach yoga within their own communities, addressing issues of sustainability and diversity. We want to further grow our free & accessible yoga program to reach more communities in need- we would even love to be able to extend the program to reach communities outside of Boston. 

Your donation is critical in helping us continue the important work we do, increasing access to the effective resource of yoga for those affected by poverty and trauma, strengthening the health of low-income communities, and positively affecting the lives of other men, women, children, and families like Jayla.

Will you help us share the healing practice of yoga with those who need it most? We simply cannot do this important work without you!

Susan Lovett
Hands to Heart Center Director & Founder