Gainesville, FL was our first official site location. We have grown from one class per week to 10+ classes each month! Below are our primary ongoing programs. We also partner with various organizations to offer yoga to individuals battling cancer, teens and young women, and more.
GRACE Marketplace is Gainesville's homeless shelter, where we first began services in 2016. Shortly thereafter, we created a "YogaLoka Sanctuary" on the GRACE campus, so that residents would have a clean and calming space to practice Yoga and meditation. We now partner with GRACE to offer popup events such as Self-Care Saturday, a free daylong offering of Yoga, haircuts, and massages for GRACE residents.
Alachua County Jails
We have weekly class offerings at both the men's and women's county jails, with plans to add a guard and staff class soon. We have begun a book drive for the men, as they become more interested in the teachings of Yoga. Survey data from these classes has shown "increased sense of calm" and "relaxed state of mind" in students continuously attending classes. Class attendance averages between 8-15 students, with interest so high, waitlists often form.
HONOR Center for Veterans
The HONOR Center is a shelter that provides housing and healthcare programs for veterans in conjunction with the Veterans Association. We host one weekly chair yoga class and one mixed-mobility yoga class each week to some 10-15 students per class. Recently, we used funds granted by the UF Medical Guild to purchase Yoga Props for the students at the HONOR center to aid in making these classes even more accessible. Classes for the veterans have continued online through the pandemic.
Peaceful Paths is a housing center offering shelter to survivors of domestic abuse. We offer one free class per month for the children of women receiving services. Class sizes range from 5-10 children.
Twice monthly, rotating volunteers offer Yoga classes to the ESE (exceptional student education) youth, 16-22 years old. This ESE program, run through the school board, helps students with developmental disabilities progress in school and in life after school.
Twice monthly, classes are taught to the individuals at the Grow Hub. Grow Hub is a center focusing on cultivating, empowering and assisting adults with disabilities for sustainable living through education, training and job opportunities. These classes include a main teacher, and one that helps with one-to-one assists and adjustments.
Twice monthly we teach an accessible Yoga class to the residents of Tacachale, the oldest and largest community for Floridians with developmental disabilities. The community offers its residents the opportunities and services which respect and encourage their personal choices, enhance their quality of life, and maximize their individual potential.
Pride Center of North Central FL
Once monthly, we host an inclusive and accessible yoga practice designed for all bodies and all people at the Pride Center of North Central Florida. This free 60-minute class is open all those who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as allies to the community.
St. Petersburg, Fl
In 2018, we expanded our services to St. Petersburg, FL. We began with the occasional community class, but now teach regularly at the following locations.
Beacon & Baldwin Houses
The Beacon House and Baldwin House are transitional, recovery homes for homeless men and women, respectively. Our volunteers offer twice monthly classes to some 5-10 students per class.
Pinellas County Jail
We offer weekly classes to the female residents in the Pinellas County Jail. This partnership was made possible in conjunction with the Red Tent Women’s Initiative.
PARC provides opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities to exercise their independence and experience life to the fullest. A new partnership, we offer weekly chair yoga during two 30-minute sessions to PARC participants.
In the summer of 2019, we began serving communities in South Florida. Our Miami volunteers taught pop-up community classes at first, but now are working to create steady programs around the city.
South Miami Branch Library
We host a free weekly class at the South Miami Public Library. This class is open to all ages, from children to adults, and we encourage families to join us. This is a gentle and accessible class for practitioners of all abilities a. Class attendance ranges from 7-10 students.
Our YogaLoka ambassadors have adopted our U.S. model to offer these transformative services abroad to various populations with limited access to wellness programs.
YogaLoka ambassador Alessandra Machado offers yoga and mindful movement classes to refugees, immigrants, and women who have survived domestic violence in Lille, France. Her programs have been so transformative, she has been recognized by the government for her outreach work.
Montezuma, Costa Rica
YogaLoka founder Cristiane Machado has created her own international partner program in her new home of Montezuma, Costa Rica. Free and donation-based classes are offered to underserved populations and benefit nonprofit organizations in the region.