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Inspiring Conversations with Howie Shareff of You Call This Yoga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Howie Shareff, a resident of Raleigh since 1984:

Howie Shareff founded You Call This Yoga in 2007 as a business to share yoga that was adaptable for tired, worn baby boomers. As a 52-year-old practicing dentist and recreational athlete, he was managing his own severe arthritis for many years with gentle yoga. Howie also utilized yoga as part of his preparation and recovery from surgery. Through these experiences, he found that the benefits of yoga to enhance healing and comfort could be accessible to anybody willing to breathe, focus and mindfully move.

Howie’s philosophy about the business was that it served the community to improve social, emotional and physical health. He sought this to be a social entrepreneurial endeavor, where yoga that is accessible for all can be delivered by skilled, passionate, paid and professionally supported teachers. In 2010, Howie succeeded, with help from the NC Center for Nonprofits, in having You Call This Yoga recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Since then, Howie has grown in the role as Executive Director through advice from the Small Business Center at Wake Tech, the Board of Directors of You Call This Yoga and many coaches in our region. Howie also produced two educational shows: the You Call This Yoga Show (30 minute class) that airs on Raleigh Channel 10 and the You Call This Yoga YouTube channel, and the You Call This Yoga Internet TV Show (60-minute talk show about accessible yoga).

Currently, Howie stays young by engaging prospective yoga teachers, host partners, team members for YCTY, business partners and students. He welcomes your contact to learn more about you.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been long and bumpy. Fostering public awareness about the benefits of gentle and chair yoga, plus creating systems and classes to do so has taken more than a decade. Understanding what people seek, having flexibility in the way yoga has been presented, developing sustainable funding and recruiting volunteers with applicable skills have been major considerations so far.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Pioneered free community yoga in Raleigh beginning in 2008.

Our mission is to enhance well-being with accessible yoga.

Created the ongoing community event, YogaFest NC, for hundreds of attendees from 2012-2019.

All live events and classes were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Shifted from regional (Triangle focused) to global engagement as a result of having all programming going online in May 2020.

Current classes are focused on attracting people touched by cancer, veterans, community healing, Spanish yoga and meditation with gentle mat and chair yoga.

Provide free yoga classes and educational content.

Engaging niche groups who may have limited access to the benefits of yoga.

Presenting yoga in a manner that most people will find reasonably easy and safe to learn and continue practicing.

A community of passionate yoga teachers, volunteers and contractors who care about helping others heal and feel better.

Our network of teachers who are worldwide, multicultural and engaged in their local and social network communities.

We are able to promptly respond to people, situations, and opportunities to advance our mission and grow as an organization.

We invite people to experience yoga that can be personalized to their skills and capacity.

You Call This Yoga provides any new or curious yogis to expand their practice by exploring our media offerings on our website plus Facebook, YouTube channels.

Classes are at no cost.

Donations are greatly appreciated and used for teacher stipends.

We welcome new volunteers to help manage our organization, and teachers too.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I thrive on facilitating good and being part of a positive minded and passionate community who bring healing to the world.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
You Call This Yoga

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