Yoga Changes Lives

Candice Jackson square

By Candice Jackson
Originally published in Yoga Bridge - WINTER 2023 VOLUME 23 ISSUE 1

Note from Executive Director, Donalee Campbell: The YAA’s vision is to promote quality of life, connection, and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for all Albertans, regardless of circumstances. Our active outreach programs bring the healing benefits of yoga to marginalized and underserved communities. One such program includes ongoing weekly classes at the Abbotsfield Recreation Centre through the Candora Society, which primarily serves low-income families with a high percentage of women, newcomers, indigenous and seniors in North East Edmonton. The following is a recent report from the teacher leading the class, along with a sample of feedback from class participants.

From the perspective of the person at the front of the class, I have observed how important the class is for participants not only physically, but also socially. Progress for many of the participants is slow but steady, and they are very open about expressing their thanks at the end of the class for this wonderful practice. —Candice Jackson, Teacher, YAA’s Candora Society Outreach Program

I am a senior living with a muscular dystrophy condition. It is critical for my health, physically and mentally, to be actively engaged in as many opportunities as possible. Yoga, with its poses, stretches, flexing, strength building, breathing, relaxation and meditation are vital to my wellbeing. The classes are free, [close to home], user friendly, and there are no barriers to participation. It’s fun and challenging to be part of the group. The other [students] provide very positive support, friendship, and a sense of belonging.

—Margaret, Student, YAA’s Candora Society Outreach Program

While the yoga class itself is fantastic, the mental health aspect is even more important to me. I am a widow fairly new in the area so spend much time alone. These classes are very important to me.

—Kathy, Student, YAA’s Candora Society Outreach Program

I live in this community and [have] been attending this yoga class for many years. Candice is a dedicated and passionate teacher. My body and mind feel better after attending... It is a gift to our community. Thank you.

—Emily, Student, YAA’s Candora Society Outreach Program

Candice is a YAA Intermediate yoga teacher who teaches Hatha Yoga and Chair yoga and has been working with the Candora Society and teaching classes in the community of Abbotsfield for the past 10 years, taking over from long-time YAA member Judy Murphy who began the program.

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