Organizations and passionate people across Northeast Ohio are successfully working to enrich lives and bring new opportunities to those who need it most.
Zenworks Yoga is one of these organizations; and has been bringing yoga to under-resourced kids and families for more than three years. Its school programs have reached nearly 2,000 students through more than 65 programs in and around Northeast Ohio. Children and teens are faced with choices and pressures on a daily basis that can lead to stress and unhealthy lifestyles. Introducing yoga to young people can have a positive impact that extends beyond the classroom and into everyday life. For younger kids, yoga is a way to harness energy in a non-competitive environment. For middle school and high school students, weekly yoga classes become an acceptable outlet for stress – something to which many kids don’t have access.
The executive director and founder of Zenworks, Sonya Bapna Patel, boomeranged to Cleveland from New York City, where she graduated from New York University and spent two years teaching as part of Teach for America (TFA) after a career in management consulting. During her time with the program she noticed that her second and third grade students were frequently over stimulated and overstressed. Knowing that the kids had limited opportunities to find solace during their day, she started introducing them to basic yoga postures and breathing exercises. These short breaks helped the students re-energize and re-focus on their studies. This experience inspired Sonya to found Zenworks Yoga, a 501(c)3, upon her return to Cleveland.
An extension of Zenworks Yoga are the East 4th and Yoga donation classes offered Saturday mornings at 10 am at House of Blues. New teachers are featured each week, showcasing the best studios and teachers in the Cleveland area.
All donations directly benefit the school and community programs offered by Zenworks Yoga. If you’d like to receive the weekly email announcing the week’s teacher, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In just two weeks, Zenworks will host its first annual Do Good…Look Good fashion show and luncheon fundraiser on Saturday, October 3 at the Doubletree in Beachwood. The event will feature stylish yoga apparel from brands such as Studio Only, Athleta, Ivivva Athletica (Lululemon’s children’s line) and Mare Athletic Wear as well as a healthy, plated lunch. To learn more about the event, please visit: www.zenworksyoga.com. If you can’t make the fashion show, check out the IndieGoGo campaign, which is helping raise money to print materials that students and their school teachers can use outside of yoga class.
Zenworks is just one of the many organizations in Northeast Ohio that is working to enrich the lives of our youth. All City Arts Program, College Now Greater Cleveland, and the Achievement Centers for Children are a few other examples of the great work taking place in our community. There are also a number of United Way partner agencies that focus on educating our youth. To learn more about these organizations, you can visit unitedwaycleveland.org.
If you would like to learn more about Zenworks Yoga, visit www.zenworksyoga.com. The organization is always looking for new yoga teachers and also offers corporate sponsorship opportunities.