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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Art of Yoga Project

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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

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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".

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.