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 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.
The Art of Yoga project has taken the concept of mission and vision to a new level of inspired healing. Art of Yoga takes a very creative approach to helping traumatized adolescent girls to heal with a gentle but challenging Yoga practice. Services begin immediately upon incarceration, extending throughout incarceration and after as these young girls return to their families and communities. The services include a wonderful Yoga practice and a committed Mentoring Program. Each girls participating in these services manifests benefit.......
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.
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 am a certified yoga instructor with 9 years of experience, and interacted with staff from the Art of Yoga Project at the Yogajournal San Francisco Conference last year. Their highly skilled staff offers a brave and compassionate practice to incarcerated women, giving them tools to create a new perspective out of their current situation. A phenomenal cause and one that will continue to give back to individuals and society at large.
I work with troubled high school girls. I became aware of this organization through an article in Yoga Journal (Oct 2009) called Peace on the Inside. I didn't realize that 15% of the youth prison population was made up of girls! It was great to see a gender responsive program in action and learn a bit about their model.
The Art of Yoga Project is an amazing program that helps troubled teen girls. It is comprised of a group of strong and caring women helping incarcerated teen girls. Although these girls have made some poor choices they are caught in a cycle of victimization. The Art of Yoga Project works with them to create a better self image and gives them tools to help change their life. It is very inspiring!
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.
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.
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 have been contributing increasingly more to this group for each of the past three years, and watching them grow as individuals and as an organization. They have an amazing combination of brains, heart and tenacity. ANy one of those is of course precious. But it's hard to imagine another group having the degree of all three that makes The Art of Yoga Project so unique, and indeed successful at their mission.
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.
Somewhere between the first check in and the last bow at the end of class, a magical calm sets in over the crowd of teens that I have the honor of teaching at the juvenile center with the Art of Yoga Project. Irregardless of what brings together to that room, we come together to move, try new poses, take risks, and breathe deeply. They say that yoga is a healing practice - and I believe it each time we spend an hour together and every time a participant looks me in the eye and says "Thank you for coming".
As a former mayor of Palo Alto, I became aware of this outstanding project and its early success in Oregon and now the Bay Area. Founder and director Mary Lynn Fitton has the personal dedication and commitment that is so essential to a non-profit. As a trustee of a foundation that has donated to The Art of Yoga, I have continued to be impressed with the quality of their efforts and the responses received from the participants, the court system, and community leaders. This is a winner! Jim Burch Palo Alto
I have mostly helped out behind the scenes, but did spend one yoga session at the GIRLS Camp. I was so moved, I had a goose bumps. The change in the language and body language of the girls was stricking between the beginning of class and the end. The girls were more relaxed, more open, and calmer. The Art of Yoga is changing girls lives for the better.