Working the Land, Working the Self: Understanding Healing and Embodiment Through Diverse Traditions
What is the story you tell yourself about who you are? Is it true? Is it time to change the story you carry within to align with your inner truth?
I believe that we all have inner wisdom and gifts that can be obscured by a sense of disembodiment— a deadening of one’s feelings as the result of trauma. One way to discover, or recover one’s embodiment, the life-enhancing function of the body, and increase our resilience is being present with the land.
Insights from the Inside: Teaching Yoga at San Quentin State Prison
Teaching yoga to incarcerated people is a calling; it is not for the faint of heart. It requires devotion, passion, and willingness to be seen as an advocate for human rights by some and through the lens of scrutiny by others. It requires the ability to see this population through the eyes of compassion and non-judgment. As an instructor of trauma-informed yoga classes at San Quentin State Prison through the Prison Yoga Project (PYP), I share an embodied, contemplative, body-based practice with my students while integrating my growing theoretical knowledge as a somatic depth psychology graduate student.
An Ancient Ritual
Sitting peacefully in a cross-legged posture, I join my hands together at the center of my chest. Time slows down, and I set an intention to move mindfully, to breathe consciously, and to open my heart. This simple daily practice has been duplicated for thousands of years throughout the world and across all social strata. Yoga invites participants to embrace the opportunity to slow down, observe, and connect to our bodies in a deep and meaningful way.