The Gift of Yoga


"The Om Work Project has partnered with The Fernwood Yoga Den to offer Avery Williams, and applicant of the OM Work Project a summer of unlimited yoga at the Yoga Den. This opportunity will provide Avery with the chance to build their personal practice and gain more knowledge into the practice of yoga.“

Nicole McLellan- Founder

Avery Williams | Winner of the OmWork Yoga Den Sponsorship.jpg

Meet Avery…

Name: Avery Williams
Age: 19
Pronouns: They/Them

I first discovered yoga in middle school when I was attending Maria Montessori Academy. Part of the Montessori routine was 30-45 minutes of gentle activity every morning before school started. We did this to increase blood flow, and to wake up the brain and prepare it for learning. We had three activity options: a “power walk,” a quick game of soccer, or a short yoga class. I always chose the yoga option and that seemed to be the only way to slow my mind, get me a little more centred, and feel prepared to face the school day.

I never would have thought The Om Work Project Scholarship was even a possibility for me until I started talking to my teacher, Nicole and I realized that you can make a career out of something that you enjoy doing and something that is good for you. Most importantly, you can make a career out of something you have a deep passion and connection to. We hold so much stress and sickness in our physical bodies and I believe we can make ourselves healthier through movement. Yoga has opened a new possibility of healing for me. This has been amazing for me because for a long time I have felt like there’s absolutely nothing more I could possibly do to help myself feel better.

I have a really complex illness, a rare genetic form of cancer, called F.A.P.(Familial adenomatous polyposis). I had my large intestine removed in 2014 as part of my treatment. This disease makes me feel very physically weak and sick more often than not. I often don’t feel like I can do a lot of physical exercise but I don’t like the feeling of my muscles atrophying. I don’t want to feel like my body is giving up on me. I also have a lot of hidden anger and resentment towards this disease, and discovering yoga has helped me see myself in a new light, mind and body. Yoga has given me the potential ability to strengthen and heal my body and my mind all in one go, while also teaching me to let go and sit with uncomfortable feelings and eventually too move forward. Yoga has changed my life and I am really excited for my future potential: both in career potential and health potential!

Through the Yoga Den and Om Work Project offering me free unlimited yoga, I am gaining experience and confidence in myself and in my body. Having the ability to learn and be in a formal class setting as much and as often as I can will strengthen my practice. It will also give me the opportunity to figure out which type of yoga best suits me and help me decide what I’m most passionate to teach others about. I’m excited to figure out and build a stronger relationship with myself, my body, and my mind. I believe this experience will help me build up my strength and confidence in myself and the I ability I will soon have to share my healing with others.

We are very grateful for our friends at The Fernwood Yoga Den who have helped us support a member of our community.

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Nicole McLellanComment