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 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

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been blessed to teach with the Art of Yoga project for over three years. Every single day has been an inspiration - not just because I am bringing yoga, a practice that has helped me so much, into juvenile detention; not just because every time I have done so, I have walked away inspired and awed by the girls I met there, their strength, the resilience of their hearts; but because in working with AYP I have always felt part of an organization unlike any other: a group of wonderful, caring, inspiring, mindful, compassionate leaders who work hard to empower others. AYP has challenged me to grow.

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  

9 people found this review helpful

I have been affiliated with THe Art of Yoga Project for the last 3 1/2 years. This is an amazing non-profit with so many incredible, dedicated women. I have been fortunate to personally work directly with the teen girls in the juvenile hall with The Art of Yoga Project. The girls in the juvenile hall, love the project. They are so happy to have women come each week who care deeply for them, listen to them, help them see the best in themselves and that they count in this world. It's hard to know if I get more from these girls or give more...... through this project we are able to bring out the best in these girls and see them who they really are not just convicted felons who made poor choices. THe Art of Yoga Project gives them skills to take with them and use in their lives so they can make better choices when they are released from prison.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced love, compassion, a deeper understanding as I have been able to get to know the girls in the juvenile justice system while working with The Art of Yoga Project.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I love working with teen girls. I see the world in them, no matter who they are, nor what they have done, or where they have come from. I believe with my heart and soul that they can achieve everything and anything they set out to do. I teach them that yoga is a practice that benefits them AND the world, so that they understand that we are together, as a community on this earth, that what we do affects us all. Each time I go in to the juvenile hall I bow down before each young woman. I honor them and speak to their higher self- and they meet me there. I am blessed to be a yogini, blessed to be part of a great organization that cares about every young woman out there. I am grateful for the hard work that all of the volunteers, staff, teachers and leaders do so that the path is paved for me to reach out to these kids. I know it makes a difference, if not in this very moment, then like a seed, planted, to one day blossom.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I watch the look on a young woman's face when she has accomplished a challenging yoga pose, when she has created a work of art that she didn't think she could do, when she lights up in appreciation of an inspiring moment- these are RESULTS!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I learned about this organization from an article in Yoga Journal. I contacted them about becoming an Affiliate so I could bring their program to our area. Right now I am working with our local juvenile justice system to design a program for the girls in our area.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the reviewing the curriculum that they have written. It is very comprehensive. It is a great start to become an affiliate of the art of yoga project.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the are very helpful and have answered all my emails and questions very quickly! They really want to help me launch this service in my area

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really help a lot af at risk teen girls reach their full potential!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

The Art of Yoga Project is an absolutely amazing program. The dedication to serving at risk teen girls is pouring out of the hearts of the founder and leaders of this organization. The curriculum is extremely well thought out and executed. I am so proud to work with the powerful women of AYP to pass on the benefits and tools that yoga has to offer, giving young women in a crucial time and place in their lives some peace, clarity and confidence.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the energy in a room change drastically over the course of an hour from anxious to calm. Feeling the gratitude from these girls when their need to be seen and loved is met. Hearing profound wisdom come out of a troubled teenage girl's mouth..

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more funding for the aftercare programs which help support the girls as they transition from incarceration to life in their communities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

witnessing growth and change!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

strong, smart, open-hearted women.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help keep these girls accountable to themselves after their release.

Ways to make it better...

there was time and money to do more!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding and creating new relationships to expand the programs reach.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love Art of Yoga Project with all my heart!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Yoga has made in huge difference in my life so I was happy to help when a friend of mine who works for The Art of Yoga Project asked for assistance with a fundraiser. Through the work, I met a few of the impressive women who were on staff. This left me with an overall good impression and leads me to believe that the organization and their programs are well run.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sharing the enthusiasm of the staff and donors for the work that AYP does in the juvenile halls.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Most of the girls really appreciated our work with them. The breath work, the meditation, the circle discussions of readings from recovery meditation books, and the yoga nidra - guided relaxation seemed to benefit the girls and I quite enjoyed it. The training and preparation of volunteers was quite sketchy in the beginning.. there is opportunity to make community with the volunteers by giving written or oral guidance for the process of getting security clearance, how and when to meet, how to prepare the room and getting a list of rules for the detention center (no newspapers, cameras, candles / lighters etc.) I always feels bad to make mistake. The connection with the girls who wanted what we were bringing was invigorating and gratifying. I am always grateful for where I have come and am glad to share how I got here.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

none

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Again- the volunteer coordination, advisement and reinforcement could have been better. Many of us have so little time and know what and how in a clear concise manner really helps. The girls respond well to organized presentations. Finally we grooved.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the faces on the girls when they felt they had accomplished - a pose, a breath practice, complete relaxation.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind. The volunteers I worked with were awesome.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring consistent classes ( at least bi weekly ) with artists and authors, who could also be paid, and then publish the works of each 6 month class. But the girls have to WORK for it, with participation and good behaviour - no "gimmees"

Ways to make it better...

the practice had stayed in YOGA and not so much in gymnastics. I would really have loved to continue the Yamas and Niyamas into the yoga day - bringing the concepts into the physical practice and the meditation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The limited space at the facilities and the lack of consistency. We had a VERY SUCCESSFUL period where one of the counselors joined the practice (giving it value) since then the counselors have not joined and even talk during class.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We need yoga for adults in recovery as well. This population, by necessity due to its age, will remember this experience, but may need to suffer MORE before they can RECOVER. We need to follow up with programs in jails and other centers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

This is one of the most inspiring organizations I have ever been privileged to be a part of. The Art of Yoga Project offers a way for people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, religions, colors, passions and affilliations to become a part of a healthy, positive, forward-thinking family. I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group of womyn who are so inspiring, motivating, and truly beautiful inside and out. I will continue to work for and with this organization, because it is a cause I believe in with all my heart.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way that girls smile when I step into San Francisco Juvenile Hall.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope to be as compassionate, kind, organized and patient as those who in fact do run it.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the smiles, love, and warmth that I receive...not only from those who run AYP, but also from those who are its benefactors.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

patient, punctual, kind, effervescent, loving, warm and fabulous.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world. AYP could alter the way that incarceration is viewed in this country. I truly believe that with all the passion, determination and commitment that is put into this organization, a lot of prisons could be torn down and torn into parks, a lot of rehabilitation centers could be turned into yoga studios, and a lot of halfway homes could be turned into beautiful mentoring homes.

Ways to make it better...

I had known about AYP earlier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the economic downturn, and the reality that many people believe punitive incarceration to be more effective than rehabilitative work.

One thing I'd also say is that...

AYP has been an inspiration to me, and I hope with all my heart that it grows to its highest potential.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

This is a wonderful non profit, full of talented, amazing women. Every single day you work there, you can tell you are making a difference. I consider the opportunity to serve as a loving, supporting, respectful role model for these young girls as one of the great gifts of my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the girls' faces after each class

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the community, the support, and the love i give and receive

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

are strong, generous, inspiring women

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

touch and change the lives of so many youth at-risk, decrees violence in our streets, help girls who made bad life choices and teach them how to take better care of themselves and others.

Ways to make it better...

i had more changes to meet the other volunteers outside yoga classes

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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