Yogi Lara Land has made a name for herself teaching yoga in her own studio in Harlem, as well as around the world. For her, yoga’s ability to transform the mind, body, and spirit makes it far more than a physical activity; it makes it a possible force of social change. Land has harnessed this power by launching her non-profit, Three and a Half Acres, which takes her work as a yoga instructor to a whole new level by using it to bring positive change to LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV communities in New York.

 

Lara Land's non-profit Three and a Half Acres seeks to promote social change by bringing yoga to LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV communities (Brian G. Murphy/Harlem United via nydailynews.com)

Lara Land’s non-profit Three and a Half Acres seeks to promote social change by bringing yoga to LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV communities (Brian G. Murphy/Harlem United via nydailynews.com)

As Land sees it, relaxation techniques taught through yoga have the potential to have a profound influence on the lives of individuals within these communities. These are people, according to Land, who are consistently in high stress situations each day of their lives.

 

Recognizing that these communities may have a lot to gain from yoga and its transformative capabilities, Land started Three and a Half Acres with the desire to combine yoga with her goals of social responsibility to create lasting change.

 

Through partnerships with local organizations like Ali Forney Center and Harlem United, Three and a Half Acres will provide weekly yoga sessions with highly qualified instructors. Through helping students slow their breathing and their minds, Three and a Half Acres hopes to lower natural stress levels of students and promote positive responses to difficult situations in life. While it is common for individuals coming from vulnerable communities to react to high stress situations erratically, yoga can help build habits around pausing, observing, and reasoning before reacting.

 

Land hopes to continue building additional partnerships moving forward to strengthen the positive social impact of Three and a Half Acres. In doing so, she may continue using her passion for yoga to build hope in some of society’s most vulnerable communities.

 

For more on Lara Land and Three and a Half Acres, visit landyoga.com.

 

Do you think yoga has the potential to positively transform communities? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi