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 with a posture and meditation guide, something tangible the women can take away. So even if they decide they never want to take another class with me, they have a token that may serve as a motivator to return to yoga some day in the future.


Paula Carrasquillo is an active yogi, author, and advocate who has lived in numerous watersheds throughout the United States, including Colorado, Maine, Maryland and New Mexico. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Paula is passionate about her family, friends and the motivational and brave people she meets daily through her online writing and social media exchanges. To Paula, every person, place, thing, idea and feeling she encounters is significant and meaningful, even those which she most wants to forget. Follow Paula on Twitter and check out her other blog.

(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/107945722292099400/)

Beginner Yoga, Meditation, Training, Workshops
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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. I love this idea- one thing you may also look into as you bring together your materials are mudras (maybe you already thought of this). I find it very helpful to use mudras in meetings and things when I am stressed. IT may be a quick way for them to reconnect to their centers. I have a wonderful feeling for you about this project 🙂


  2. Wow, Paula! That’s wonderful! Your gesture to those women is such a sign of peace and love…you”re awesome 🙂


  3. Check out the Prison Yoga Project (prisonyoga.org), and take one of James’ teacher trainings if at all possible. I haven’t actively “used” my training yet, but it was an incredibly worthwhile experience and one I know you would find helpful for this endeavor! Best of luck!


  4. Reblogged this on Paula's Pontifications and commented:
    Yoga has the potential to empower us all. 🙂


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