What a gift! I just saw this post from Onieka’s Yoga Life, and I got goosebumps. Onieka Mays just started teaching yoga at Riker’s Island though Liberation Prison Yoga and the Prison Yoga Project.
An excerpt from Onieka’s blog about her work with the Prison Yoga Project:
. . . Today I met the students. Some were excited to show me a few asanas. Others were thrilled that they would be coming to class. The women were friendly, kind and chatty. A lot of these women are awaiting trial and couldn’t make bail and that’s why they are there. Without much at all to do many seize the opportunity to participate in the programs that are offered. Liberation Prison Yoga incorporates writing, yoga and meditation . . .
I’m headed to meet Anneke Lucas, founder of Liberation Prison Yoga. I’ll be teaching students here at the Rose M. Singer dorm twice monthly.
Here’s a bit more about Anneke and LPY:
Liberation Prison Yoga grew out of the need for an organized way to support yoga instructors interested in serving in prisons and jails in New York. Anneke Lucas started creating programs in different facilities in 2011, bringing along many teachers, social workers and psychologists, training them to use a trauma-sensitive approach while sharing their preferred yoga style. Anneke developed yoga programs according to the different needs in different settings, including discussion and free-flow writing in certain classes, and runs groups with sex-trafficked women at Riker’s Island.
“We have to be committed to rehabilitation if we are going to be an evolved society, a mature society, a just society. Correctional facilities should be correctional – not just because it’s healthy for the people who are incarcerated, but it’s healthy for all of us.” ~Bryan Stevenson, Grady Bankhead’s Lawyer/Director, Equal Justice Initiative
Check out Onieka’s blog to read the whole piece.