It’s official! Lemonade is now a 501 (c) (3) registered nonprofit!
Aside from being a refreshing summer beverage, Lemonade is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the benefits of yoga to at-risk youth.
It started off with a way to log volunteer hours for the Forrest Yoga certification. Three years ago, Sandy Till began teaching a weekly class to one of the units at San Francisco Juvenile Hall. Despite the many challenges that come with teaching at-risk youth, Sandy continued to come back every week. She gradually expanded the program to teach classes to more of the units and now teaches every unit in the hall. In addition, Lemonade works with the Youth Guidance Center Improvement Committee (YGCIC) to teach sessions to youth on probation.
There are a number of yoga programs for incarcerated youth out there. The Art of Yoga Project is one such great organization. But many of these just serve girls in juvenile detention, so recognizing the need to reach boys as well, Lemonade teaches all of the boys’ units, as well as the girls unit at SF Juvenile Hall. Lemonade is also unique in that it uses the Forrest Yoga system of yoga as a basis for its teaching. As a Forrest Yoga instructor, Sandy has found this method of teaching to be the most healing and empowering way that she knows to work with students of any kind and particularly helpful for the population Lemonade serves.
I was fortunate enough to be involved with Lemonade as a teacher for a year and a half. Like Sandy, I started off to get volunteer hours and just kept on coming back. It was an amazing process to witness as the program expanded and staff support for the yoga classes continued to grow. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see its evolution into a bonafide nonprofit.
Give Lemonade a “Like” on Facebook and check out the regular reports about classes in the hall. If you’re a yoga instructor, Forrest Yoga or otherwise, consider getting involved as an instructor with Lemonade. It’s an experience to drink up.