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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders, Youth Development Programs

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.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Robyn8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

15 Erica

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.