I met Tamara Standard while working as a producer at D7TV. As a yogini myself, her show “Yoga Girl” was my favorite to work on. I loved the concept of bringing yoga to the streets and even more, the opportunity to bring that experience to people around the world by filming it for an internet audience.
Tamara is one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. She truly embodies her yogic beliefs. It was often a moving and humbling experience to watch this beautiful, soft-spoken woman teach yoga postures and meditation to drug addicts and homeless people on some of San Francisco’s roughest streets. As more footage would come in, I was often amazed to watch Tamara fearlessly and gracefully bring a calm and childlike quality to unpredictable and sometimes hostile situations. With her kind voice and caring, guiding touch the people were often transformed into playful, happy children, literally standing on their heads. Some were also deeply moved by her concern for them. Even more amazing was the effect doing yoga on a particular street had on the neighborhood. As Tamara describes in the video, the dynamic of the tough street corners would change as people began participating or watching the yoga. As the observers saw the changes within the participants (often people they knew in very different contexts), the mood became light-hearted and jovial and the illegal and negative activity happening nearby would often stop.
Clearly, Tamara’s own experiences of self-discovery through yoga and meditation (after years of drug and alcohol addiction and spiritual seeking) have given her the unique ability to reach out and connect with people “on the edge.” Since moving to Sacramento in 2007, she has brought yoga to two women’s shelters, helping women suffering from depression, sexual assault and homelessness. She says the meditative aspects of yoga and “karma yoga” (the yoga of selfless service) have had the most profound effects on her life, deepening her connection to her true self– the divine teacher within.
Tamara is an inspiring example of how one person can change the world, one person at a time, but only through first changing oneself.