EDINBURGH | LOS ANGELES | NEW YORK

Project SUPERHUMAN - Supporting urban youth impacted by gun violence

Akasha Associates is committed to working with urban youth affected by gun violence.

Self control and self reliance when it matters most take almost superhuman strength.

Since 2011 we've been producing workshops and programs to teach young people the tools they need to practice restraint and calm in the face of intensity and pressure.

We partner with celebrities and mindfulness leaders to take our message to as many young people as possible. 

The tools we teach are lined up to unlock within each young person their own innate power, intelligence, creativity and compassion.

The first time we taught meditation to groups of youth living with gun violence every day, was in a school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

I'll never forget watching Anandagiri, a monk dressed in simple white cotton tunic and trousers, a small Indian man, sit on the center of the stage in complete silence looking his audience directly in the eye but not speaking for the first five minutes. 

An unimpressed, clearly unconvinced and restless group of 100 young people resisted, hollered, stood up and walked out. It was hard to know how this was going to go ...but, as we knew we would, the kids surprised everyone in the room.

LifeCAMP for 
New York Peace Week
There were two events during New York Peace Week 2012:

Being Superhuman - Practicing Peace in a War Zone: How Compassion, Patience, Tolerance and an Open Heart Can Save Your Life -  was an immersion in meditation delivered by Anandagiri, one of the most eminent spiritual teachers on the planet at the moment who teaches regularly at The Omega Institute in NY and is invited all over the world from Australia to Hungary - teaching people how to become free from their reactivity.

'Take it to the Mat - The Secret of Flow' - was an afternoon immersion in yoga delivered by Mas Vidal, director of LA's Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda who is also very eminent in his field, teaching regularly in the US and abroad.

Their teachers had said none of them would stay for more than 10 minutes. In the end none of them wanted to leave, and the teachers said they'd never seen anything like it.


In addition to the working with youth directly, Akasha Associates also produced and delivered two fundraising events for NY PeaceWeek 2012:

The Standard, High Line: We wanted to deliver our fundraisers in five star environments that our audience would be familiar and comfortable in, and maintain the conscious living intent behind the week. We decided therefore on making the fundraisers experiential too and at The Standard we created a four hour detox hot yoga class taught by Mas Vidal. In the end it was a perfect match. Where better in all of New York do your Sunday morning yoga practice than The Standard, overlooking views from the High Line.

Integral Yoga Insitute, New York: Our opening event for Peace Week saw over 100 tickets sold before we had even landed in the city. Anandagiri flew in from India for that one day only and erudite New Yorkers knew he was in town. All our tickers were gone by the time the doors opened.

It was a night of warmth and connection, story, sharing, song and laughter. Over three hours hearts opened and just like the youth in the schools whom we were impacting with our live events, at the end of the event, none of the adults wanted to leave either. Something had started in the hearts of those of us there. Something that continues to connect us to Erica Ford and the work she does for New York youth.

With infinite gratitude for ther generosity to:
Integral Yoga Institute, Blueprint Juices, PopChips and Zico Coconut Water.

Thanks also to Mina Gough at The Standard, Miami and Evan Altman and his team at the very wonderful Standard East Village on Cooper Square.

Very special thanks to The Rumor Agency.