This week we’d like to shine a spotlight on an incredible program being run by close friend of the brokerage, Victor Sagar. In an increasingly digital age, it’s important to reach out and keep connected with your community, and to keep yourself active and healthy.
Both physical and mental health are important things to work on at all times, and with many good habits, it’s best to start early. Victor’s program, 6ix Kids Yoga, is run out of Scadding Court Community Centre at Bathurst and Dundas St W. This free program teaches both physical exercise and mindfulness techniques for children who rarely get access to such helpful tools.
Victor is the executive director and founder of 6ix Kids Yoga. Previously, he operated a successful chain of home furnishing stores for 25 years (Down Under Bedding), but left the business to pursue his passion in the form of philanthropic endeavours.
He has been practicing yoga and meditation for several years, and credits the practice for helping make a positive change in his life. They were a key factor in helping him overcome a difficult divorce and other hurdles. The idea to start the 6ix Kids Yoga program was inspired by how big of a positive impact this had. Having been helped so much by yoga and mindfulness, he wanted to share it with those who could likely benefit from it the most: kids in underserved communities.
There were challenges involved in getting the program off the ground, but Victor has found that actions are shaped by what you believe in most. You can overcome anything with the right attitude and belief. With the help of Scadding Court Community Centre, he funded this project with Ryerson Community School as the pilot location, and it has only been growing since.
Victor grew up in the community around Scadding Court and has a deep connection to the area, and has always wanted to give back to it. He’s worked with several project in the community over the years, and has been a teaching assistant for a grade 3 class at Ryerson community schools. 6ix Kids Yoga is his most ambitious project to date, and he wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without the support of Scadding Court and his childhood friend, Mohsin Khattak, who serves as community outreach director.
As for the program itself, Victor has been delighted to see the change it has brought to the children who’ve attended it. Children who participate in yoga are noticeably calmer and more focused; even their teachers tell us they are more relaxed. Yoga is excellent for increasing flexibility, and improving focus and concentration. The program also helps them learn calming and stress-relieving habits, builds self-esteem, and strengthens their mind-body connection.
The program has been massively rewarding to watch for Victor. The children tell him how much they love yoga and mindfulness training, writing letters that touch his heart. Helping others is not unlike therapy in its own right, and being able to reach out and help others has improved his outlook on life and drives him to continue to do good. He advises us that he has many other projects on the way, and we’re excited to see what’s coming next!
Victor would recommend anyone looking to improve their mood and health take up yoga if they can. It’s a mental exercise, with secondary physical benefits. With the gloom of winter coming in, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself any way you can. Think of your mind and its wellbeing as its own muscle that you can develop through tools like meditation, granting valuable insight and calm in the midst of a hectic world.
Victor leaves us with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “we must be the change we want to see in the world.” To Victor that has meant spreading what has helped him so much to as many as possible, wanting to create a healthy and happy world. “You become what you believe. I want to give these kids something positive and wonderful to believe in because the world reflects your own feelings back to you.”