Jodi Weiner

• When Jodi Weiner teaches yoga, whether to adults or children, in a studio or a jail, it’s straightforward and from the heart. “I don’t get deep into philosophy or spit a lot of Sanskrit at them,” says Weiner, the executive director of Connection Coalition. “I keep them safe. I keep it simple so that they can access their own stillness.”

• The nonprofit Connection Coalition works with youth organizations to share practices such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation to populations that don’t have access to it. Instructors visit aftercare programs, impoverished schools, drug rehabilitation centers, shelters, foster homes and similar places around the country. “Yoga takes us out of our story,” the Coral Springs resident says. “It gives us the opportunity to access their active thinking while they’re moving and discharging energy, and that’s where we plant the seeds of whatever they need in the moment, those messages of self-respect, self-control and self-awareness.”

• Weiner, who also teaches at Yoga Cure in Coconut Creek, never intended to become a yoga teacher. She left a corporate job in 2010 because she found it heartbreaking to create reports detailing staff reductions. While she was considering what to do next, she learned the elementary school her twins attended had cut recess. She was so bothered, she made a business plan: a holistic, five-activity package with nutrition and sports. She was missing a yoga teacher. Yoga had always been part of her life, so she went for training.

• During training, she heard about Coalition founder Terri Cooper. In 2012, Cooper brought her course to Delray Beach. “I was two hours in, and I was riveted,” Weiner says. She was passionate and knew she could help shape the organization, moving it national—or even international. She sent emails for two weeks before being asked to join the “inner circle.” She stepped up as executive director in 2013. Since then, the team has trained more than 1,700 volunteers around the country.

• Weiner teaches her volunteers to walk into their programs without intentions: “We teach them how to create connections, how to show up with no blame, no shame and no judgment.” One week the kids may be receptive, but the next, they can be lethargic and don’t want to stand. “That’s the joy of being a yoga teacher,” she says. “We can recognize body language that somebody else may not. We recognize it as a symptom of trauma. I don’t take it personally. I try to engage them.”

• She understands them because she’s been there. Weiner grew up angry, feeling disempowered. There was physical and emotional abuse. She got into fights. She self-harmed. She used drugs. “It wasn’t until I learned yoga. Forget about the shapes we get into, just the breath—how I can calm myself down,” she says. Every program is different, but each time she incorporates a similar message. “I talk a lot about choices, their stories. I tell them what I needed to hear as a kid that I didn’t get. They are not a poor choice; they have unlimited potential.”


For more information click here 

You May Also Like

MisterO1 Pizza Signs Lease for Downtown Doral Location

Floridian First Realty brokered the deal. 

Dinner at Dusk Event Supports Tri-County Animal Rescue

The organization has rescued over 90,000 distressed animals.

Friends of Jack & Jill Center Host Annual Pediatrix Flip Flops on Docks Fundraiser

The tropical-themed event at Lauderdale Yacht Club will help support local children and families in need.

Change 4 Dade and Chapman Partnership Team Up to Provide Safe Environment for Homeless Youth in Miami-Dade

The area has seen a 2% rise in the number of unaccompanied homeless youth over the past two years.

Other Posts

Acclaimed Chef Pushkar Marathe’s Stage Kitchen & Bar Signs Lease at Restaurant Row in Boca Raton

The 2023 James Beard Award nominee’s concept will occupy the last available space within the development.

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort Hosts Inaugural Mother Ocean Music Festival

The free event will benefit 4ocean in celebration of Earth Day.

The Salty and Jimmy Butler Form All-Star Collaboration

Proceeds will benefit Project Backboard, which focuses on revitalizing public basketball courts and incorporating site-specific art installations.

4 Rivers Smokehouse Launches E-Commerce Site for BBQ Enthusiasts

The authentic Southern-style barbecue concept has a restaurant in Coral Springs.