As yoga, mindfulness, and meditation continue to demonstrate the capacity to heal, inspire, reduce stress, and improve health in widely diverse settings, the yoga community has come together to support the work of expanding access to these transformational practices. The Yoga Service Council (YSC) was formed in 2009 at the Omega Institute by a group of organizations bringing yoga to underserved populations.As we worked to support each other, exchange ideas, and envision the future, a collaboration was sparked that has made all of our efforts stronger and more intentional. Each year the membership of the YSC grows, and our capacity to serve grows with it. We meet every May through the generosity of the Omega Institute to hear from leaders in the field of yoga service, exchange best practices, discuss how to achieve diversity and expand access in yoga service, and infuse our programs with renewed energy and inspiration.
The YSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit service organization and our mission is to develop a community of professional support in the field of yoga service, engaged in helping YSC members move from inspired to
effective in using the tools of yoga and mindfulness to reach underserved and vulnerable populations. This collaborative community welcomes the knowledge and experience of yoga teachers, therapists, social service providers, educators, health professionals, and researchers in an effort to support this mission.Current YSC initiatives include the annual Yoga Service Conference at the Omega Institute, a forum for learning from the leaders in yoga service from around the country, as well as an opportunity to exchange ideas and network with others involved in yoga service; an annual Best Practices White Book which will articulate best practices in the wide spectrum of yoga service work; and publication of periodic Yoga Service Journal articles, providing a forum for sharing major initiatives, advances, and research in the yoga service field, focused on providing practical information that our members can use immediately to help advance their work.
Long term goals include the establishment of a mentorship program, the promotion of collaborative research, achieving greater focus on diversity, and increasing access to professional quality training in the field.