VA Community Yoga, founded in 2016 by Christine Harrell, has moved their focus into community outreach through yoga. Christine has become affiliated with the Prison Yoga Project, based in CA, and has recently been approved by the Norfolk City Jail to begin teaching yoga to inmates starting in May of 2018.
Harrell became interested in the Prison Yoga Project in 2017, based on her life experiences growing up as a child of domestic violence, and the trauma of seeing her brother and father repeatedly go in and out of correctional facilities. Reflecting on these experiences through out her Yoga and Ayurvedic journey, she realized that being a good practitioner means embracing all types of experiences with a compassionate heart. These experiences have made her who she is today, looking forward with a passion for selfless service and to see the ancient teachings of Yoga blossom in her community.
Offering these trainings and practices to inmates is an effort of Restorative Justice by assisting them onto a path of reconciliation, providing them with tools of self-awareness, mindfulness, and nonviolent communication to re-assimilate back into society. This will be a year-round program, that rotates every three months between the women's and men's correctional facilities.
Any donations to this program will go towards the purchasing of Prison Yoga Project Books specific to male and female inmates, yoga mats, blocks, and t-shirts for inmates upon completion of their three month session. As VA Community Yoga moves forward with this project, Harrell intends to expand the program by organizing Prison Yoga Project Trainings for the Hampton Roads area. Other donations accepted are gently used mats and blocks, which can be arranged for local pick-up. Please contact Christine Harrell, founder and coordinator of the VA Community Yoga Jail Project.
In service, we humbly offer our gratitude, One Love, Namaste.