? 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.