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Yoga and Compassion in a Place of Violence

I’ve been teaching yoga in Oregon prisons for almost twenty years. Four years ago, a local effort emerged to reform the use of segregation (solitary confinement). Disproportionate numbers of inmates in segregation had mental illnesses (79% of female inmates). A call to action resounded through Oregon: Alternatives must be created.

The Oregon Department of Corrections asked me to create yoga programs on the inside that could support inmates living with developmental delays, mental illnesses, and traumatic brain injuries. We decided to teach inmates with long term and life sentences to become certified yoga teachers.

In the first cohort of yoga teacher trainees was an inmate, whom I will call Jack. Jack committed a very serious crime in 1998, the same year I walked into a different prison to teach the first yoga classes. Jack was a 16-year old, Read Full Article…

Original Article : Yoga and Compassion in a Place of Violence
by : Sarahjoy Marsh
From : theshiftnetwork.com

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