Over the next 11 months, these women will join two teachers from the Prison Yoga Project to delve into the study of Anatomy and Physiology, Sanskrit, Yoga History and Philosophy, Postures, Teaching Methodology, and Ethics and Yogic Lifestyle. At the end of their program, they will graduate as yoga teachers and will be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance at the RYT200 level, a qualification that will allow them to teach behind bars and in the free world.
Laughter, anxiety, confusion and understanding wove together as the women explored the structure of fundamental poses, took turns practicing and teaching, meditated, read, and stumbled over the meaning of words in an unfamiliar language. Coming from a broad variety of backgrounds and covering a wide age span, the women drew together to support one another.
At the end of the evening on Sunday, after 16 hours of training, the group sat together for one final guided meditation. Tired and happy, loaded down with homework and practice guidelines for the following month, they returned to the routine of their daily lives, the seeds of learning already emerging.
Will there be struggles along the way? Certainly. The path towards becoming a teacher is never easy, and life in prison is not designed to be smooth. But the bonds of yoga have been established, and they are powerful.
Director of Women Prisoner Initiatives,
Prison Yoga Project
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