Sharing the practice of yoga and mindfulness with the incarcerated is one of the many ways that Light A Path works to create resilience through connection. The recent pilot program at the Buncombe County Detention Center was deemed a success and inmates can look forward to yoga each week now. If you would like to understand the impact of this program, we have another letter from a participating inmate to share. This letter is shared with the permission of the author as well as the Detention Center. It is unedited in any way.
Attention: Ms. Val/ Julia/ Paul/ Eddie
Yoga has really helped me in several different ways. One, well two ways combined is “grateful and appreciative”. What you folks have shown us (inmates) was and is a true and pure heart. To take the time from yall’s busy work schedule, and to come and allow us (inmates) to partake in a lesson, and guide to a healthier life style, that is a gift in itself. I am grateful for all of you and your guidance and selfless time. I really appreciate you all and giving us a brief but profound experience in the form of yoga. I am a medically discharged Air Borne Army Ranger S.F.C. I served 7 years and I believed I had discipline to the core, but these last four weeks have proved me wrong. I am learning new things, I still have a hard time closing my eyes, due to my surroundings, but I still focus on yall’s teaching. I put forth what Uncle Sam has taught me, I pay real close attention to my instructors. No pain No gain. The breathing is natural we were taught that in my special forces training. But yoga is more intense and more in tune with the mind, body, and spirit. I had reserves about joining the program, I do not care what others think of me or what I do, but I do care about people such as yall, cause yall care about our health and our understanding something new. Other things I’ve learned through yoga and the ones teaching the class, is that it does indeed allow one to sit back and relax, to ease tension in the mind, the body and the soul. It (yoga) allows one to watch the world and understand life, not just to live it, but to become one with it. Yoga is something that I’m going to pursue, but the one thing I am really grateful for is I’ve met four (4) outstanding people whom I can call Teachers and friends. So Ms. Val/ Ms. Julia/ Mr. Paul/ Mr. Eddie I wish to express my sincere thanks. I am in your debt for your kindness.
May you all be blessed as you’ve blessed me.
Light A Path is honored and humbled to support the work of matching practitioners of the somatic arts with populations in need. Please feel free to share this post, to support this work.
[photography by Robert Sturman, shared from the Prison Yoga Project]