The Art of Yoga Project

Rating: 4.97 stars   63 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Crime & Law

Location: 555 Bryant Street Palo Alto CA 94301 USA

Mission: The Art of Yoga Project's mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioral change.
Results: At The Art of Yoga Project we specializes in working with incarcerated teen girls and have a long standing relationship and a proven track record with the juvenile justice systems in three Bay Area counties. The Art of Yoga Project strives toward a very specific goal of creating accountability, responsibility, self respect, self control, and ultimately, behavioral change in a very specific and under served population. The philosophy of yoga and the freedom of creative arts is delivered meaningfully to this important (and often overlooked) population of young women who are so desperately in need of support and guidance. The Art of Yoga Project website provides more information about our work including our research, mentoring and training programs, as well as stories and artwork from girls that have participated in our program. www.theartofyogaproject.org
Target demographics: At-risk teen girls (12-18) in the California juvenile justice system
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500+ girls
Geographic areas served: San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Programs: The cornerstone of The Art of Yoga Project is its proprietary, gender-responsive Yoga and Creative Arts Curriculum, a secular course that combines health education, character development, yoga, meditation and creative arts. The program helps each girl build increased self-awareness, self-respect and self-control as well as develop competent decision-making skills and life-long wellness practices. Using the tools taught, the girls begin to identify the issues that cause them to make poor choices, manage their anger and impulses, and develop a productive outlet for their emotions and dreams. Each session begins with a rigorous, strengthening yoga practice and continues with a creative art activity. Throughout class, trained facilitators lead discussions on themes such as non-violence, tolerance, sexual ethics and integrity. People and Locations With three full-time staff and over 40 certified yoga teachers, artists and therapists, AYP currently serves over 500 girls in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am beyond blessed to be a part of this amazing organization. I came to know about Art of Yoga through Courtney (thank you!) and began teaching 4.5 years ago . The initial training was invaluable, but it is the ongoing support of my fellow teachers, site director and of Mary Lynn Fitton that holds my heart and allows me to offer my best self to these beautiful girls.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started work with The Art of Yoga Project as a technical adviser. Since then I've come to know the folks running the organization and working with it. Through my work I have also become familiar with the amazing stories, poetry and successes that the project has with youths in very difficult circumstances. I recommend to anyone that they read some of the blog entries on the website and learn more about the marvelous work that the organization does in the local Bay Area.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Art of Yoga Project is a very effective program helping incarcerated teen girls heal from physical and lifestyle abuse. It is an outstanding project. We will continue to support it, because of its growing success evident through the girl’s behavioral change.

Don and Virginia Fitton

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I fell in love with this organization 7 years ago when I agreed to join the board and have never looked back! It has all the important elements that make an organization effective; an important problem in the community, an effective approach to address the problem, excellent people with a huge heart and commitment to the organization and a lean/effectively run fund raising and administration function. I hope to continue to provide my personal time and financial support for many years to come. Hope you will consider this too!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Having had two "at risk" teenagers, I understand how difficult it can be to connect these young people. The key is to help them help themselves; to let them know they are not being judged, that you care about them and you believe in them. The Art of Yoga Project is perfect example of a well-thought-out plan to give these young teens the self-confidence and the tools they need to face their difficult situations head on. The wonderful yoga instructors teach them how to control their thoughts and actions which in turn leads to improved decision making. The goal is to release responsible young ladies from the juvenile facilities with this new outlook on life that will break the cycle of repeat incarcerations. AYP is an incredible organization with outstanding leaders and volunteers with one goal in mind: to help these young ladies to have happy and productive futures. I would hope this project would be a role model for other facilities!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Art of Yoga Project is a wonderful, well organized, and beneficial program. I have worked with them for the past year. The girls learn so many lessons through the use of yoga and art. Every week that I work with Art of Yoga, it is often the highlight of my week.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

For the past year, I have been fortunate to volunteer as a yoga teacher with The Art of Yoga Project at two of their after-care centers in San Francisco - the Center for Young Women's Development and Mission Girls. The curriculum developed by Mary Lynn Fitton undoubtedly plays an incredibly positive role in the development of these young girls' lives. I have watched girls gain strength and greater mind-body awareness through their yoga practice and have been lucky enough to sit and listen to them share how the tools they've gained through the GEMM (Girls Empowered by Money Mindfulness) program at Mission Girls has taught them how to manage their money and develop a healthier attitude toward what can often be such a sticky subject. Perhaps most importantly, The Art Of Yoga Project would not be affecting the lives of so many at-risk girls were it not for the dedicated and passionate staff and volunteers involved in its growth.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a retired social worker, having worked in Public Child Welfare for 20 years. After retirement I pondered what I should do with my time, and found the Art of Yoga Project and I'm so glad I did.. I've contracted with the Art of Yoga for the past 4 years, facilitating art projects with girls in Juvenile Detention. The Art of Yoga is a wonderful program, as a MSW, I have witnessed many children affected by violence and drugs and these girls fall into that category and the Art of Yoga supplies them with information through Yoga principles, exercise and Art projects that build their self esteem and enhance their sense of self worth, this can aid in decreasing the probability of them repeating the actions that resulted in their detainment. I love working with this program, the yoga teachers are great to work with, as well as the director, they are open to explore ideas and listen to what you have to say..Most importantly the teachers and the administrators care about the girls, their current and future well being, and love what they are doing!! I look forward to continuing my relationship as an art teacher and expanding into their mentorship program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a retired social worker, having worked in Public Child Welfare for 20 years. After retirement I pondered what I should do with my time, and found the Art of Yoga Project and I'm so glad I did.. I've contracted with the Art of Yoga for the past 4 years, facilitating art projects with girls in Juvenile Detention. The Art of Yoga is a wonderful program, as a MSW, I have witnessed many children affected by violence and drugs and these girls fall into that category and the Art of Yoga supplies them with information through Yoga principles, exercise and Art projects that build their self esteem and enhance their sense of self worth, this can aid in decreasing the probability of them repeating the actions that resulted in their detainment. I love working with this program, the yoga teachers are great to work with, as well as the director, they are open to explore ideas and listen to what you have to say..Most importantly the teachers and the administrators care about the girls, their current and future well being, and love what they are doing!! I look forward to continuing my relationship as an art teacher and expanding into their mentorship program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have the honor and privilege of teaching with this amazing group of women. I have never met a more dedicated team of individuals who truly care about these at-risk girls. The curriculum designed by Mary Lynn is world class and every time I am with the girls, I feel the vibration of our collective rise. I see how much these girls need to find peace within themselves and when I leave them, its always in a better state than when they arrived. I love this program and I love these girls. They need a nurturing element to their lives and AYP definitely brings it. This program instills peace, confidence and hope in these young girls. Well done to all.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Art of Yoga Project is an amazing program that offers much needed guidance, love and inspiration to young women in juvenile hall. I started as a volunteer in 2007, teaching yoga classes within the Santa Clara Co. juvenile detention facilities and am now actively involved in managing 2 facilities in San Jose and Morgan Hill. I adore the women involved in The Art of Yoga Project. Loving, kind, capable, giving and an incredibly supportive team. I have seen young women grow and learn a better way of life. We have seen young felons come into the system and leave with a high school diploma and moving onto to universities. This was not a future they had ever envisioned for themselves. The Art of Yoga Project is the dream of an incredible woman- Mary Lynn Fitton, who continues to inspire all of us and help us bring our love of yoga, art and writing and all their benefits to a very under served population.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?