KIDSBURGH: Pittsburgh Yoga Collective brings om to city’s most vulnerable children

By Jill Greenwood, Kidsburgh

When Caitlin Lasky was 8-years-old and anxious about an upcoming sleepaway camp, her father introduced her to yoga and meditation.

“I remember thinking I will never use this. But I was using the techniques by the third day of that camp,” says Lasky, 29, of Polish Hill. “And now, I use them daily.”

Lasky believes in the emotional and physical benefits of yoga and relaxation exercises, and thinks bringing them to children – particularly children in underserved areas or those who have experienced trauma or health issues – is critical to encouraging healthy development.

In September, Lasky launched the Pittsburgh Yoga Collective, a movement to bring yoga to populations in Allegheny County that might not be exposed to it otherwise. The Collective started with a pilot class in Braddock where six kids of varying ages spent an hour stretching, posing and practicing deep, calming breaths.

“I think there is a perception in current culture that yoga is for people who have money, are white, thin and women,” says Lasky, a certified Yoga Alliance instructor. “That seems so wrong to me. This should be available to anyone. The principles of yoga can root a child’s holistic wellness.”

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