Ali Smith - "From Inner Health to Outer Health"


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The Youth-Nex Conference on Physical Health and Well-Being for Youth, Oct 10 & 11, 2013, University of Virginia

Smith co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director.

Panel 4 -- Mindfulness, Health and Well-Being: The Mind Body Connection


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Ali Smith - "From Inner Health to Outer Health"

  1. 1. From Inner Health to Outer Health Holistic Life Foundation, Inc.
  2. 2. HLF Mission • The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore- based 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through a comprehensive approach which helps children develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness and self-care, HLF demonstrates deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. HLF is also committed to developing high-quality evidence based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being.
  3. 3. About Us The Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) was founded in 2001 by brothers Ali and Atman Smith and their friend from college Andres Gonzalez. HLF serves under-served communities with programs focusing on yoga & mindfulness and environmental health
  4. 4. T hings we noticed •Lack of connection •Lack if compassion •Extreme hypervigilance •High Stress •Lack of healthy foods •High trauma •Lack of physical activity •Lack of peace •Sense of hopelessness
  5. 5. Holistic Me after school program • Yoga & Mindfulness • Tutoring & Homework Assistance • Community Service • Environmental Education & Advocacy • Athletics • Music • Art
  6. 6. 19 of 20 graduated from high school 2003 19 of 20 either in college or working full time None incarcerated All still practice yoga in some form 2010
  7. 7. Wor kfor ce Development Prog r am
  8. 8. Yoga/Mindfulness Study • Partnership with Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Penn State University • Only randomized controlled trial with urban youth and yoga Pilot: 12 week curriculum, classes four times per week Students showed increased concentration, ability to control emotions, got in less trouble in school, decreased rumination 2nd round: 24 week curriculum, classes twice per week 4 schools to 6 schools and more students (from 100 to 250) 3 year study instead of 1 year Includes physiological measures and school based measures, not only cognitive measures Federally funded not just private donors Not only pre- and post- but follow up assessments • • • • • • • •
  9. 9. Mindful Moment Program •Pilot at Patterson High School •Students trained to facilitate mindfulness practices •15 minutes twice per day •Engagement is tracked •4 staff is the school 20 hours per week •Classroom to refer students to •Study in partnership with TIIH and UMD •Funded by the 1440 Foundation and Krieger Foundation
  10. 10. Holistic Life Foundation Mindfulness Based Pr og rams • Drug Treatment • Mental Illness • Juvenile Jail • Workshops • Trainings • Seniors • Environmental • Gang Outreach
  11. 11. HLF Program Benefits • Self Regulation • Improved Concentration and Focus • Peaceful Conflict Resolution • Thought and Emotional Awareness • Anger Management • Stress Reduction • “Think Before They Act” • Compassion • Interconnectedness • Empowerment • Social and Emotional Wellness • Improved Physical Health