Girlvana: Empowering teenage women through yoga and meditation
We love meeting people that inspire and motivate us to do good, and be better. One of those beautiful people is Alex Mazerolle. She is the founder of Girlvana — an initiative to get teen girls practicing yoga, meditation, and mindful living.
"It's inclusive of self love, confidence, and compassion," said Alex. "My intention is to inspire girls and create stronger women."
Alex spreads her message through classes, workshops, and retreats. Her first retreat was hosted this summer at Galiano Island. The girls were all gifted Mala beads, to empower them to connect to their strengths, intentions, and dreams.
Read on for our Q&A with Alex:
Q) Why did you start Girlvana?
A) I felt that there was a huge need for this kind of consciousness to be awakened at a younger age. I struggled a lot as a teen with anxiety, body dysmorphia and destructive thinking. When I started doing yoga, I knew that immediately I wanted to bring this to a younger generation.
Q) What do you hope for the future of Girlvana — what's the goal?
A) Girlvana has the makings of a movement. I want to see this message spread globally. I want teen girls everywhere equipping themselves with these tools to lead happier and healthier lives.
Q) Tell us a bit about the different 'events' you host.
A) I want to create safe spaces for girls to open up and have dialogue around insecurities and all the stress that goes on at that age. Whether it is a one-time class or a 5-day retreat, I want girls to be themselves, to share themselves, and to learn ways to cope.
Q) How was your first retreat? What did you do?
A) The retreat was the biggest dream of my life coming true. We had nine girls between the ages of 12 and 17. Their willingness to open up, their eagerness to learn yoga, and their bravery to actually be there was incredibly moving for me.
We laughed, we cried, we danced, we sang. It was five beautiful days at Bodega Ridge on Galiano Island. We filled the days with yoga, meditation, hiking swimming, and art. On the last day the girls wrote the mentors letters. We balled like babies at their strength, courage and how much they took away from the experience. I can't say enough about it. It was pure magic. I really miss the girls.
Q) What's the best thing about being in this line of work?
A) To actually witness the shifts inside these girls. To see them come in one way, and leave another. As much as they think I am helping them, it is healing me, too.
For more, visit the Girlvana website: http://www.girlvanayoga.com/