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Yoga 4 Philly session
In a neighborhood plagued by a number of issues all-too-known, yoga is a safe haven. Photo: Yoga 4 Philly.

How Yoga 4 Philly brings tranquility to people in recovery in Kensington

The nonprofit organization was established at the beginning of 2019.

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On a frigid cold mid-Winter afternoon, Jenna Song packs up her car and takes the long 30 minute long journey to the Salvation Army in E. Kensington and Cambria Street, just a block away from the Somerset Station under the El.

“The drive is a bit long but I do enjoy it,” she said in a recent interview with AL DIA News. 

According to Yoga 4 Philly’s website, in the Philadelphia region, 72,000 people aged 12 or older were classified as having substance use disorder annually.

However, in a community where the news usually focuses on the bad rather than the good, her organization is changing that view by bringing a healing method for Kensington locals.

Song is a yoga instructor for Yoga 4 Philly, a nonprofit organization founded by Steven Brice, who dedicates his time in teaching recovering addicts and survivors of sex trafficking. 

His dedication to helping others inspired him to start a practice for people who can benefit from meditation and yoga.

Yoga4Philly session
Photo: Yoga 4 Philly

Song has been a part of Yoga 4 Philly since November and has been dedicated to the mission ever since.

“I enjoy teaching in a non-traditional setting,” Song said.

Song teaches yoga and meditation at the New Day location inside of the Salvation Army on Kensington Ave. on Thursdays.

Many of her clients that she helps who are survivors of sex trafficking and drug addiction struggle with PTSD and anxiety, so Song uses different methods of yoga so she does not have to touch her clients.

“It’s important to give them their space so I make sure to do exercises that do not require me to touch them,” she said. 

Song also uses verbal cues instead of physical adjustments.

“Touching can bring up positive feelings, but also negative feelings depending on who the person is, so I'm usually mindful of that when I teach,” she said.

Jera Song
Jera Song. Photo: Yoga 4 Philly

Another initiative that Yoga 4 Philly is dedicated to is their Yoga 4 Kids program, which helps introduce yoga and meditation to children who live in Kensington. This program has benefits for children such as managing their anxiety, helps improve their attention span, and helps them improve their self confidence.

The program has been collaborating with different schools in order to show children the enjoyment of yoga.

Another initiative that Yoga 4 Philly has is their Prenatal Yoga 4 Women of Color initiative.

In the U.S, Black women are two to three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. According to the CDC, the mortality of Black women is 43 per 100,000 live births.

Prenatal Yoga 4 Women of Color will have classes every Monday, beginning this Monday at 6 p.m. at 76 Forward in Brewerytown.

Song teaches yoga every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army at 2843 Kensington Ave.

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