Community Leader: Alex Mazerolle, Girlvana Yoga
Photographer: Noel Hendrickson, Hendrickson Photo
At Girlvana we use yoga to connect with teen girls in high schools and dance studios and help them develop tools that empower them. Adolescent girls are especially attached to the idea of being perfect. They often quiet their voice due to fear and lack of trust. Bringing them together so they can speak openly about their feelings allows them to see that they share the same struggles.
Building self-love and compassion in adolescence provides these young women with enduring radiance and strength. In their communities these girls are spreading what they learn. They are waking up to the 'mean girl' behavior that exists; they are having more open dialogue at home; they are finding their voice.
We work on the principle that when you embrace the change, when you embody love, it lights everyone else up around you; we just have to be brave enough to step out of our own darkness, and move into the light.
For our photo shoot, we took a group of students into the North Shore Mountains early one morning. Having worked with Noel on a photo shoot before, the energy was easy and connected. Noel’s creative, spontaneous character fit well with a bunch of high-energy girls. It was refreshing to step out of the dance studio and into nature; the experience was invigorating and playful - it brought us even closer together.