Our Work

Urban Yoga Foundation (UYF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that educates and empowers communities to be proactive about issues affecting their health. Through yoga and integrative wellness practices, UYF programs help individuals manage stress, develop mind-body awareness and health consciousness.

UYF was endorsed by former Governor of New York David Patterson who personally assured that this important program would receive State Funding for 2009 and 2010 to continue in the public school system. 

In the last 20 years we have reached over 150,000 youth in over 22 schools in the Metropolitan area. The foundation is currently launching an in house farm to table program for kids and teens to learn about gardening.  Our outreach will enable students to go on field trips to farms outside the city learning composting, farming and sustainable practices. UYF organization is mentioned in a June 2009 Time Out NY Kids article on “The Best Yoga Program for Families”.


Communities will change when the people in them change. The question is: What will the change look like? It’s up to us to decide and the Urban Yoga Foundation is up for the challenge.
— Ghylian Bell, Founder

School of Yoga


Testimonials

As the Director of Field Operations for Bell (Building Educated Leaders for Life), I can say with absolute certainty that Ghyllian Bell and the UYF staff have been the best community partner that we have had. The care and concern the staff take with our scholars and their parents has helped the yoga program become a permanent fixture in the communities that we serve. There is a notable change in the scholars’ behavior and Principals and teachers have given the program much praise.
— Timothy Coleman, Director of Field Operations, BELL
The Urban Yoga Foundation has been a collaborative partner with the After School Program of Maplewood/South Orange and now the South Mountain YMCA for eight years. We have used the program to facilitate yoga experiences, tea tastings and related cultural awareness for our five hundred students and their families. Ghylian Bell’s services are always first on the list of enrichment options offered to staff and students that is a constant demand. I can enthusiastically endorse the positive benefits our students have received over time by their interaction with the Urban Yoga Foundation and Ghylian Bell.
— Adrienne Mtume, Asst. Director of School Age Child Care, South Mountain YMCA
The Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) is excited about becoming a community partner with Urban Yoga Foundation. Through education, occupational skills training, and employment services to disadvantaged youth, ADC provide these youth with the practical and work skills, social support services, and educational opportunities they need to build their strengths and become contributing members of their community. Through the UYF programs, ADC participants have been pleasantly surprised how yoga has helped them find alternative ways to manage their stress, develop mind-body awareness and become more health conscious. In addition, as a Community Partner, The Urban Yoga Foundation has offered the ADC YouthBuild Program Participants invaluable opportunities to serve as operations intern. These internships provide the participants with soft and hard skills that can be transferable to any professional setting.
— Malikah Shabazz, Mentoring/Community Service Coordinator, Workforce YouthBuild Development, Abyssinian Development Corporation
As coordinator of the Transition to Adulthood Program I’m continuously seeking different techniques and approaches to help my teens deal with everyday life in effective and healthy ways. Urban Yoga Foundation has been truly amazing; since July, 2012 they’ve offered, free of charge, weekly yoga classes at their studio space. In total 42 students have participated in more than 300 hours of yoga practice. Yoga is a necessary outlet for today’s youth, program participants and staff alike feel very fortunate to have a partnership with UYF. One student said, ‘My backpack’s lighter, and I feel so awake.’
— Peter Tinguley, Youth Vocational Trainer, Transition to Adulthood Program, Catholic Charities Community Services