Yoga at NSC

NSC News 
  • Staff participate in a yoga session at NSC.
At the end of each yoga session, participants bow to each other and say “Namaste.” Namaste means the light in me sees the light in you, and this is an appropriate way to acknowledge the strong and diverse community that exists at NSC.

By Gwen Soffer

Yoga is described as a practice of the mind, body and spirit, and its benefits for physical and mental wellbeing are many. Practicing yoga has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as reduce chronic pain, sleep issues, muscle tension, restlessness, and lack of energy. Additionally, this holistic practice builds a mind-body connection and a means for self-regulation for stress.


NSC introduced a weekly Women’s Yoga Group this fall. The free yoga group, led by Philadelphia Partnership for Resilience intern and trauma-sensitive yoga teacher Gwen Soffer, meets on Thursdays and is open to all NSC clients and ESL students. The class includes gentle yoga movements, breathing exercises and guided meditation concluding with refreshments. Clients from Burma, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Syria, Iraq, Japan, Ukraine, and Spain have attended the weekly group. Participants report that “After yoga, I sleep better,” and “Yoga feels good. “
Also new this year is a weekly staff, teacher, intern and volunteer yoga group that meets every Tuesday during lunch. This is a gentle twenty-minute yoga class that offers a few minutes of self-care during the busy workday. Participants report that yoga is calming and recharges them for the day and that they enjoy the movement and music. 


Yoga has the added benefit of building a sense of community and bringing people together. At the end of each yoga session, participants bow to each other and say “Namaste.” Namaste means the light in me sees the light in you, and this is an appropriate way to acknowledge the strong and diverse community that exists at NSC.

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