Yogis in Service is a team of yogis who teach, practice and share yoga. We are our teachers, our students, and our helpers. Yoga means union and connection- to yourself, to others, to your community and to your world. A Yogi in Service- is committed to connection to self, connection to others, connection within and across communities, and connection throughout the world.
At YIS we practice yoga skills that have been supported by research, shown to help you manage stress and be the best version of you! We practice yoga poses and sequences (body), breathing exercise (to help calm and center yourself; mind and body), relaxation and focus work (meditation; mind and body).
We value this human family and are committed to justice, connection, and sharing our practices with all of our brothers and sisters. YIS was co-founded by Catherine Cook-Cottone, Diane Rose, Eric Heard, and Daija Price.
YIS is secular (not religious). YIS is physical, fun, and community centered. YIS is a way to practice being health in body and mind. We are trauma-informed and inclusive. Everyone is welcome!
Yogis in Service Mission
The mission of Yogis in Service is to create connection by creating access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of self-care tools through community-based classes in schools, hospitals, universities, community centers, and treatment centers. Through these tools, Yogis in Service believes that we are empowering, inspiring, and developing our communities.
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Aboriginal Activists Group, Queensland (Originally posted by Paige Elenson Founder of the Africa Yoga Project)
Yogis in Service is….
Yogis in Service Vision
Our vision is to create connection and empower our communities by providing access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of tools for self-care through regular access to free, community-based classes.
-Empower the community through access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of tools for self-care.
-Develop leaders within our community through yoga teacher-training programs.
-Provide a safe, community-center focus on yoga and mindfulness as a pathway to health and well-being.
Yogis in Service is Not-for-Profit
Yogis in Service is a non-profit organization located in Buffalo, New York. Nearly 100% of our donations go directly to providing yoga, for free, to our community (our costs are our insurance and web page). This includes FREE sessions of yoga at many different locations throughout Buffalo, NY all year (spring, summer, fall/winter).
We pay all of our teachers a competitive rate. Our teachers attend monthly meetings to learn and develop their skills.
We have 100% transparency in our accounting. Our annual operations budget is approximately $45,000 per year, which supports projects and operational costs, such as website management, banking fees, and insurance. We also have a program coordinator. YIS is a volunteer organization where none of the administrators or board members draw a salary.
YIS continues to conducts year-long fundraisers to help support our efforts, including t-shirt and yoga clothes sales, donation-based yoga classes, and special events.
Yogis in Service is Trauma-Informed
Our YIS Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training began in January 2017. Yogis in Service currently offers both a 200-Hour Trauma-Informed Teacher Training and a 95-Hour Trauma-Informed Children's Yoga Teacher Training. See Teacher Trainings for more information.
The Yogis in Service Team partnered with the University at Buffalo to create the YIS 12 Principles for Growth (see Catherine Cook-Cottone, Ph.D.’s and Wendy Guyker, Ph.D.’s Research Team; (http://gse.buffalo.edu/about/directory/faculty/cook-cottone).
Read our published article, “Trauma-Informed Yoga: An Embodied, Cognitive-Relational Framework” below.
Yogis in Service is Body Positive
Yogis in Service is also Body Positive. Please see the guidelines for creating a body positive space in your yoga studio of community class at Cook-Cottone & Douglas (2017). Creating safe spaces- address body image, eating disorder risk, and eating disorders in your studio or class.