Yoga has the potential to empower us all. 🙂

A Yogini Transformed

I will earn my yoga teacher certification in July 2014. I’ve decided I want to teach yoga to women behind bars and/or in community corrections.

Did you know that 85+% of incarcerated women self-report being involved in a domestic violence situation within 6 months of their arrest? If these women could get to a healthy level of self-worth and self-awareness, their rate of recidivism could drastically be reduced once released.

I think learning yoga and meditation could be the tool that empowers them to transform their lives for the better.

Certainly, the most difficult part will be earning their trust. I’ve worked in community corrections as an educator in the past. But somehow I think teaching yoga is going to be a bit different than teaching GED or ABE skills.

If anyone out there has specific experience or insight, let me know. My plan is to design a workshop series…

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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Paula, I think teaching women in correctional settings is fantastic! Keep up your fantastic works! I’m consistently inspired by your strength, your energy, and your help to empower and heal us all! Namaste ❤


  2. That’s great, Paula. My guess is yoga behind bars will be an optional activity, and those participating will find it very comforting if you just take a casual approach that caters to any ability and is more about relaxation and acceptance than any posture goal. I have thought a lot about doing this, but the nearest facility is about an hours drive. I figure the biggest hurdle would be facilitating yoga & meditation under fluorescent lights, and always remembering to stay humble with the incarcerated.


    • Depending on the building and grounds, practicing outside is always an option in the warmer months. I’m not a fan of fluorescent lighting, either, but that’s a small inconvenience and maybe something I can help influence improving upon once a relationship/partnership is built with the facility’s administration. Who knows! And because I’ve worked in community corrections in the past, it’s best, as you mention, to make a program such as this voluntary. However, there still needs to be structure and responsibility given to the student/learner. Giving them responsibility helps to earn trust. I remember being asked once by an inmate, “Why do you care about helping me? What’s in it for you?” At the time, I didn’t know how to respond. I was initially offended that someone would suspect me of having ulterior motives. But now I understand that most people who find themselves incarcerated are there because they trusted the wrong person, put their faith in a facade. Trust and humility must go hand-in-hand or there will always be suspicion. Maybe you can be a co-facilitator with me, Kristy. 🙂


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