Homeless Man Inspires Yoga Teacher to Volunteer at The Mustard Seed

Every Friday, Suzanne leads a small group of residents in an hour-long yoga class at The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre. Suzanne works in the oil and gas industry, but is also a certified yoga teacher. A few months ago she was looking for a place to volunteer, but didn’t really know where to go. A chance meeting with a homeless man provided the inspiration she needed.

Suzanne was on her way to a business meeting. “I came across a homeless person – the guy was so cheerful and friendly,” she says. They exchanged smiles and pleasantries and Suzanne carried on to her meeting, which turned out to have quite a negative tone.

She says that evening she reflected on her day. “At that moment…when I ran into that homeless person, that was the highlight of my day.”

The next day Suzanne called The Mustard Seed to inquire about volunteering. It was perfect timing: The Mustard Seed had just purchased some yoga mats for residents in its permanent supportive housing units and was looking for a yoga teacher.
Suzanne now offers a free weekly class for residents, focusing on restorative yoga rather than more physically demanding types of yoga.

“I think it is a spiritual meditation for them,” says Suzanne. “It’s a win/win, they are getting something out of it and so am I...It’s a magical experience.”

She adds that she feels most gratified when she looks at the residents and sees “[the] moment where they are completely at peace…I want them to feel they are worthy of feeling that.”

If you are inspired to volunteer – The Mustard Seed requires a large volunteer base to help the many programs and services run smoothly. Volunteers contribute approximately 50,000 hours every year at The Mustard Seed.

We’re inviting YOU to explore the many ways you can get involved with The Mustard Seed to make a tangible difference in changing lives for the better. Whether you choose to make a donation, or volunteer your time, the important thing is that you take action to help empower men and women in your community to break free from the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Thank you for your support!