A few months ago I got a call from a yoga student that had an interesting question. He knew someone who was incarcerated. His friend and about 15 other guys practice yoga in the prison. The bad news was this. They’d just had their yoga mats taken away due to some sort of regulation, like a fire hazard, etc. They were issued some different mats but they were told they were too long. Looks like someone was making it hard for them to practice if you ask me.
The new mats that they were approved to use were $65 a piece, retail price. Yikes. They needed like 15 of these and of course, when you’re locked up you get like $8.50 per month. If you have a job assignment while you’re in there, you can make like $20 a month. Big money. Another yoga teacher and I put our heads together. We were thinking the Yoga Mala could help but did we really want to wait until June 19 to get the loot? Not really.
We sent out e-mails to students and teachers that we knew would be interested in helping. We made announcements in our classes too. Within 10 days (yep) we had the money that we needed. We also purchased the mats at the wholesale price since we already had an account with the company that sold them. It’s amazing what people will do to help when times are apparently so tough. I received this thank you card in the mail the other day. It was done in pencil and crayon. They even made the envelope for it out of folded paper and they created a convict card logo for the back as well. Each inmate signed the card with a special note of thanks.
I think it’s great that yoga has found it’s way into facilities of this nature and perhaps when they are released, they will see the world in a different light.