Five Pillars Yoga

Off the Mat and into the Classroom!

Jai Sugrim brings Yoga and Mindfulness to City Youth

Here at Five Pillars, we are continually inspired by our teachers – and not just by their work here in the studio. Our own Jai Sugrim has been modeling Right Intention in his own life and also in the community: teaching mindfulness and movement practices to high school students in Harlem for the past year.

Yoga for children and teenagers has become increasingly popular in recent years, emerging in youth organizations, athletics and also — perhaps especially — in numerous school districts nationwide.

Mindfulness and meditation practices have been introduced to provide students with tools to reduce stress, anxiety, ADHD, and help cope with anger and depression. Yoga has been found to improve self-esteem, body image, empathy, academic focus and athletic performance.

Jai’s work uptown was highlighted in a recent article by Psychology Today, examining 7 Ways Yoga Helps Children and Teens.


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“We’re looking for kids to reduce their anxiety levels, have a tool in their back pocket, to adjust their physiology, their posture, their breathing, to access a relaxed and focused state for test-taking, anxiety, or problems at home,” explains Jai.




He goes on to say that these skills are even being put to use outside of the classroom or athletic setting, and that adolescents are “able to respond not out of anger, but to develop space, through having this technique [of mindfulness] for processing trapped energy.”

Jai will continue this meaningful work uptown with the coming school year. Interested in learning more or getting involved? Check out the Sonima Foundation for ways to participate, donate, or educate!