Britt Beals began teaching for A.I.M. over two years ago as one of their founding teachers. Her own personal yoga practice is an incredible tool that helps her connect to herself on a deeper level, and she found herself coming back to her mat again and again. Britt noticed as she continued to practice that she was now able to utilize self-regulation, to acknowledge and give back to herself through compassion and love, and to give herself the opportunity to pause and be okay with exactly where she was at.

She wanted to give the gifts of her practice away. As Britt continued to grow and show up differently in her relationships, she watched others around her shift and change as well. She thought: “Wow, if I’m able to have this experience, could this be the experience of others if they had access to these tools?”

A.I.M. to Empower teaches yoga and meditation to underserved communities that might not otherwise have the immediate access to these practices, and Britt was inspired by this mission. “There’s many stigmas around yoga and meditation, some say that it’s super spiritual and others say it’s too physically demanding or their body can’t participate. But yoga is really not about that. Yoga and meditation are about offering tools of compassion, love, kindness, and self-regulation.”

Britt’s aim is to break the stigma around what yoga and meditation is and who it’s typically offered to. She wants to expand on who yoga is for. Her answer? Any and everybody. She says, “It’s not only for people who can afford it. Yoga is a tool for you, no matter your age, your weight, your gender, your ethnicity, your social and economic status.”

In the past, Britt taught to the women at Lancaster County Prison with A.I.M., and she continues to serve the Community Service Group in Lancaster, Parents as Teachers, and the Youth Intervention Center. She believes the tools of meditation and yoga can help when her students or their children are frustrated or overwhelmed. It teaches them to regulate those emotions and calm themselves down. When they find themselves anxious, scared, or upset, they can use the tools of yoga and meditation to breath and respond in a more helpful way.

Another groundbreaking way that Britt and A.I.M. to Empower are inspired to serve is through connection. Working to break the stigmas around yoga and meditation also means connecting communities through compassion and understanding, not just teaching to them. Britt explains, “It’s not just about going out to an underserved communities and providing these tools, and then leaving them there. We want to bring our community and their community together.”