This month, 9 women from the same facility came together to begin a 6-month long, 125-hour training to become yoga teachers. Over the course of the day, the training played out just as it does at so many studios across the world: we went around in a circle introducing ourselves and why this practice is so important to us, we wrote group norms and created a safe and brave container for anything that might come up in the next six months, we broke for lunch, we flowed, we meditated.
Then at 3:35 on the dot, they all put their shoes on, fixed their badges, and lined up for “movement”. We can’t fix the entire system of mass incarceration, but we hope that this training brings light into their days, and that the lives of these ten women are changed for the better.
From Laura, our lead trainer:
“Heading into the training with the women at WCCW, I felt a surge of anxiety and nervousness. There were so many unknowns. Aren’t there always? And isn’t that a universal experience, a very human experience? As it turns out, it was one that we all shared (the WCCW teacher trainees and me). We’ve now completed our first training weekend and although we are just beginning to grow and learn and live our yoga together, we have a little more information. What is knowable for me now is that the teacher training cohort at WCCW consists of 9 strong, resilient, present, capable, loving individuals that are fulfilling their commitment to show up, meet themselves and delve into their practice with authenticity and vulnerability.”
Post Update: a previous version of this post mentioned 14 women were part of the program. While 14 women were accepted to the program, only 9 will be finishing.
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Hosted by Yoga Behind Bars at Youngstown Cultural Center, February 15th, 2017 Caucus Facilitators: Teresa Wang, Nari Baker, RW Alves, Ellie Lipton, Ann Luetzow Thank you to all who attended the Cultural Appropriation Conversation, the first event of its kind that YBB...read more