I’ve been teaching yoga at the Dekalb County Jail since its inception in January 2008. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years!
The yoga program is part of STOP – Substance Abuse Treatment Offenders Program – a jail-based 90-day mandated program. In collaboration with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Jail Services Division, five female Kashi Atlanta Classical Yoga Teacher Training graduates team-teach yoga to groups of 4 – 12 female inmates. The yoga teachers are Devaki, Maha Devi, Rama Devi, Surya Devi and Shakti Priya. Nearly 350 incarcerated women have participated in this program since its inception.
I had the idea to use Ma’s book, The 11 Karmic Spaces and have each teacher organize the class around the theme of a karmic space (a chapter in the book). The 12-week program allowed us to cover each chapter, with one week for the introduction! Through coordination with Swami Dhumavati of Kashi Ashram in Florida, a donation program was created to purchase copies of Ma’s book for the inmates.
If you would like to donate towards purchasing copies of The 11 Karmic Spaces for the jail please click here.
On August 1, 2013, we received the first donation that allowed us to give the women copies of Ma’s powerful book. It has become the foundation for the jail yoga program. It’s been a real joy to hear how some of the women embrace Ma’s teachings and share how the practices are impacting their lives. The women share their copies of Ma’s book with others who don’t come to the classes.