YJ People’s Choice Seva Award scholarship nominee, Good Karma Awards
Co-founder, Off the Mat, Into the World
L.A.-based yoga teacher Hala Khouri has been teaching yoga and the movement arts for more than two decades. She is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. In 2008, she helped launch Off the Mat, Into the World, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the tools of yoga and somatic practices within a justice framework to inspire people to be conscious leaders of change.
“Yoga is all about union,” Hala says. “In order for there to be justice for all, we have to hold every single person in our hearts—not just the oppressed but the oppressor.”
Also, through the nonprofit A Thousand Joys, Hala educates social workers, mental health clinicians, and staff at community service agencies on the effects of trauma and provides them tools to manage stress and create a culture of wellness. “Helping the helpers has been really profound,” she says. “It’s beautiful knowing that these folks are able to be more sustainable so that their quality of life improves as well as their work with their clients.”