WHAT WE DO
With a mission to reduce violence and increase peace in the lives of youth and in communities, New Leaf offers mindfulness and yoga-based life skills programs incorporating the following elements:
- facilitated group dialogue
- mindfulness-based activities and meditation
- yoga practice
- constructive rest
- support for home practice
Mindfulness refers to paying attention to and being with our present experiences in a compassionate and kind way.
Yoga includes mindful movement (yoga postures), mindful breathing and core themes that guide all of our programs, such as non-harming.
Many of the youth we work with and many of the communities we work within have been labelled as “at risk.” While there may be real systematic barriers and issues present, such as experiences of community violence, poverty, and marginalization, the stigma that is attached to some of these experiences may undermine the resiliency and creativity also present within the youth we serve and the communities where they reside.
Believing that strong relationships are the foundation of all we do, New Leaf takes the approach of working in collaboration with young people and community partners to find ways that best meet the needs they identify, taking the time to build community bridges and approach our work with long-term investment and sensitivity.
New Leaf offers programs tailored to school, custody and community settings. Our minimum program duration is 25 weeks – 1 year in order to provide youth with the opportunity to develop their relationship to yoga and with our facilitators. The majority of our initiatives run for consecutive years, and we have worked with some youth for up to 2-4 years, creating lasting impact.
All of our programs are offered in a trauma-informed and inclusive framework.