Here are letters we receive from prisoners requesting Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery:
To whom it may concern,
Greetings! My name is ________. I am an inmate here at Marion Correctional Institution. I am also the vice-chairman for the MCI Options Group. Several months ago I founded the Asian Options Club. It is a series of Asian-themed classes designed to promote a healthy and positive living style for the 2600+ inmates here at MCI. These classes include origami, Japanese language, Bonsai, Calligraphy, Qigong and yoga. We have reached out to a local yoga studio with hopes of finding a volunteer to facilitate a weekly yoga class...many inmates are interested.I heard about your organization from a friend. I'd love to receive the book 'Yoga, a Path for Healing and Recovery' if possible. SincerelyprisonerMarion Correctional InstitutionMarion OH******To Whom...I received the most recent newsletter from the Human Kindness Foundation and felt compelled to write and request a copy of "Yoga: a Path for Healing and Recovery."I have been teaching yoga and meditation here at Danbury Federal Prison Camp for the past 2 years. I have had the good fortune of sharing these wonderful practices with many of the women here and witnessing their growth and transformation alongside my own!When I came to Danbury in 2010 I never imagined the path that I now find myself on. However, through my own healing and dedication to "paying it forward" I have embarked on a lifestyle that I intend to extend to prisoners and also women on the outside. I have crafted several workshops in addition to my yoga and meditation workshops and hope to create a way to make this translate in the general population when I release. I look forward to learning more about your organization and enabling healing practices to reach more and more people, not only at Danbury but everywhere. NamasteprisonerDanbury Federal Prison CampDanbury CT******Prison Yoga Project,May you never thirst or hunger. I am writing to PYP in an effort to have the book " Yoga, a Path for Healing and Recovery." I am a practitioner of yoga. I have been doing yoga for four years which has enhanced my life enormously. Although I am a solo practitioner I have learned many asanas from a lot of different books and magazines and I would like to take out a few poses from your book and integrate them into my own. So, if this isn't too much trouble, I would greatly appreciate receiving this booklet. Namasteprisoner(envelope misplaced)*****My name is _(first name)_ and I have the idea of doing yoga. I have been doing some work outs now for three years so this yoga book should help jump start my diet plan. Thank your very much for your help. prisonerNew Castle Correctional FacilityNew Castle INPS. This will be the first book I have ever received so thank you
A Path for Healing & Recovery provides practices that have been proven effective in helping prisoners to gain insight into unconscious patterns of thinking and compulsive behavior. They have also greatly helped in improving their overall quality of life – mentally, emotionally and physically. Although this program has been developed through years of experience teaching yoga to incarcerated youth and adults, it focuses on the self-reflection and personal discipline necessary for one to lead a more conscious life, whether incarcerated or free. It is a powerful resource for anyone trying to break free of negative behavioral patterns. The book contains guides for physical practice (asana), breathing (pranayama) and meditation (dyhana).
This book has now been sent to almost 7,000 prisoners across the country.
Since early 2010, Prison Yoga Project's illustrated manual for prisoners, Yoga A Path for Healing and Recovery, has been sent at no cost to more than 6,500 prisoners. It costs on average $5 to print and send a book. We could easily increase demand for 3,000-4,000 books in the next year alone. Send a prisoner a book, buy one for yourself, or do both.
"What I received from the yoga classes is an avenue to live a life that is, well, so much more alive. I've learned that I can live in the present with an awareness I never felt possible and lead a life that is health, grounded and true." -Prison Yoga Project Incarcerated Student
From James Fox: A colleague and I are introducing mindfulness programs to several state prisons near the [San Francisco] Bay Area. I want to train yoga teachers and establish PYP chapters in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles to connect with prisons and different drug rehab and re-entry programs. I want to provide scholarships for a select few prisoners I work with who show promise in becoming yoga teachers themselves.
With the increasing evidence-based support of how yoga and meditation can effectively address anxiety disorders, impulsive behavior, and aid in addiction recovery, it’s an opportune time to advocate for these practices for prisoner rehabilitation. With economic hardships facing federal and state budgets, we have a practical and cost-effective way of providing programs for the incarcerated. It’s an honor and privilege to bring healing where it is so dramatically needed.
James’ book, Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery, is a practical instruction manual that contains the basics of yogic philosophy, breathing instructions to calm the nervous system, and many pages of illustrated postures and artwork by San Quentin students. Purchasing the book will also ship a free copy to a prisoner that has requested it. (More information can be found at www.prisonyoga.com.)
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