Q&A

Yoga Journal - - 2018 GOOD KARMA AWARDS -

? YOGA JOUR­NAL: How did you find your way to this work?

LARA LAND: I was first in­tro­duced to yoga ser­vice many years ago, in Ki­gali, Rwanda. I was there for three months do­ing yoga with geno­cide sur­vivors. It was a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to wit­ness how pow­er­ful the prac­tice was. I met peo­ple who had been through mul­ti­ple rapes, who had ma­chete scars, who had been through war. When I saw that yoga could be used to help peo­ple heal from trauma, I thought, “I have to bring this home to my com­mu­nity.”

? YJ: How does seva in­flu­ence your or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mis­sion?

LL: For me, it comes down to em­pow­er­ment. Ul­ti­mately, we’re help­ing stu­dents—es­pe­cially those who have been through trauma—to rec­og­nize their own power. Giv­ing a per­son space to ex­plore and feel safe is an amaz­ing thing. Both the fa­cil­i­ta­tor and the stu­dent re­ceive and ex­change. It’s self­less ser­vice when ev­ery­one is learn­ing.

? YJ: What does the fu­ture look like for Three and a Half Acres Yoga?

LL: Right now we’re mov­ing into the next phase of our or­ga­ni­za­tion, which is more crosspol­li­na­tion be­tween marginal­ized pop­u­la­tions and bring­ing dif­fer­ent peo­ple to­gether to in­te­grate with their com­mu­ni­ties. We’re look­ing at how yoga, mind­ful­ness, and breath­work can heal and bridge gaps in a com­mu­nity.

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