Yoga Classes to Benefit WELS Program

Donation Thursdays continue at Love Yoga this month — no class fees, & your donations go to the Wilderness Experience, Leadership & Service Program which gets local kids outdoors & teaches leadership skills.


Local 7th & 8th graders accepted into the program experience whitewater rafting, kayaking, climbing, hiking, mountain biking & more — many for the 1st time! — in the Ohiopyle State Park and surrounding areas. WELS contracts with Wilderness Voyageurs, who employs the most experienced professional guides I’ve worked with in the outdoors. WELS also partners with the Uniontown Area School District, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Calvary Baptist Church, and East End United Community Center. WELS sessions run for 6 weeks in spring & fall — so far, over 50 graduates have completed the WELS program in its first 4 sessions.


The WELS program is more than an outdoor adventure program — Adult Mentors also work with participants on team-building & leadership skills. Each week a core leadership value is defined, discussed & practiced — RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT, TRUST, EMPATHY, RESILIENCE, and GRATITUDE. Participants then take these values into their week at school, at home, & with peers. A culminating service project with Ohiopyle State Park instills the importance of giving back. So far, participants have cleared trails, cleared & gathered native plants for reseeding along the Youghiogheny River, & picked up trash along the Laurel Highlands Bike Trail.


How do you get involved? Start by getting on your mat (or one of ours!) at Love Yoga this month — 6:45pm Thursdays. This all-levels class is taught by a different Love Yoga teacher each week — we are committed to making an impact in our local community on & off the mat. Join us!


Other ways to get involved:

*Refer a kid — WELS accepts applications from 7th & 8th graders from all walks of life. Know a kid who could benefit from the WELS program? Email Jim Engel at

*Volunteer as an Adult Mentor — research shows that youth who have 7 adults (outside the family unit) who 1) know their name & 2) show interest in their well-being are less likely to engage in negative risky behaviors (truancy, early drug/alcohol use, sex, etc.). Imagine your impact on a kid in Fayette County. Contact Jim Engel at 509.406.0926 for more information on Adult Mentors.

*Donate — WELS is funded solely by grants, donations & volunteer time. If you know of grant opportunities or are looking for a life-changing program to invest your money in — contact Jim Engel ( to make your difference for local 7th & 8th graders in Fayette County.


May your December be brightened by your inner light, & may you shine for the benefit of others … Cheers, E

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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