Words by Marléna Ahearn
Photos by Julia Merrell
As the founder of the nonprofit For The Free, Inc., certified yoga teacher at Revolution Studio + Wellness Bar, and trained through Yoga for a Good Hood, Rod Coleman is working on enriching the Rochester community and keeping talent.
For The Free, Inc. aims to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of the Rochester community in the hopes of helping people find their own definition of freedom. Through scholarships to partake in educational classes and providing access to alternative sports and arts programs, For The Free Inc. wants people to have opportunities to grow and fulfill their talent.
“I want kids who never knew we have some of the greatest dance programs in the world to now be able to get into them for free through the community—‘for the free,’” says Rod.
Ultimately, its mission is to create spaces for self-reflection and self-work so people can succeed in creative fields, specifically in Rochester.
“I want people whose voices are not often heard to have spaces for their voices to be heard,” says Rod. To accomplish this, Rod is creating space for people who may feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
Starting with yoga was a natural choice for For The Free, Inc. “Yoga has been the most transformative thing to come into my life. A lot of times we identify ourselves by our traumas. Yoga came along and changed that for me,” says Rod. “My potential to feel has expanded exponentially and I want to bring this to men because through yoga I didn’t get weaker, I got a whole lot stronger.”
For The Free, Inc. is not just a project, but a meaningful contribution and effort to improving education and wellness in Rochester. The biggest change happens through community and with For The Free, Inc. Rod wants to remind people of that power.
“We are all here to benefit humankind in some way. Love casts out dark. Every single time it wins. The only time it doesn’t win is when we don’t believe it can,” says Rod.
Get into yoga here at Rochester Brainery! Check out our upcoming classes.