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Our Mission in Action: Kripalu Scholarship Program

Kripalu Helps One Young Yoga Teacher Find her Calling

After four months learning and practicing yoga and yoga philosophy in Kripalu’s Semester Intensive program (since discontinued), Nyacko Perry made up her mind to change the perception that yoga is only for the privileged. Having lived the majority of her life below the poverty line, Nyacko developed a personal mission that is very much aligned with Kripalu: to bring yoga to people who don’t easily have access to it.

With the help of a scholarship provided by Kripalu, Nyacko returned to Kripalu in 2012 to earn her 200-hour yoga teacher certification. With the training under her belt, Nyacko started making calls to youth organizations near her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, asking if they wanted to bring yoga to their participants.

Recently, Nyacko has been working with Girls Taking Action, a youth leadership program for girls ages 14–18, whose mission is to get young women of color interested in and exposed to science. She teaches yoga to the girls in the program regularly and says, “The kids that I work with want this, they want yoga, they need this tool.” To make their experience even more memorable, Nyacko worked with Kripalu to fund a trip that allowed 17 girls to spend a day at Kripalu in August 2012.

“It’s really good for Kripalu to bring these communities in,” Nyacko said. “And the girls loved Kripalu. They can’t wait until they’re old enough to volunteer there.”

Thanks largely to the Kripalu scholarship, Nyacko was able to tap into her true calling. Kripalu opened doors for her, and she continues to embody the Kripalu mission in the world as she, in turn, opens doors for others.

Nyacko certainly plans to return to Kripalu in future; she says that completing the 500-hour training will be an important part of her development as a Kripalu Yoga teacher. But for now, she’s taking her work in a different direction: She has joined the Peace Corps and is headed for Botswana.

“I realized I could go anywhere and do anything, and it all traces back to Kripalu,” Nyacko says. “I just feel like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”

The Kripalu Scholarship Program, like all our mission-driven initiatives, is supported by your generous donations.