For some, yoga is a way to de-stress your mind and body. For others, yoga can actually be lifesaving, helping to ease the pain of the traumas of their past.
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum security prison for women in New York State, is providing some solace to the women who reside there in a unique way: through the power of Liberation Prison Yoga.
This nonprofit aims to serve prison and jail inmates whose lives have been affected by incarceration and to hopefully teach them to meditate and begin to heal.
Anneke Lucas, the founder, discovered yoga in Los Angeles, and it helped her overcome the post-traumatic stress she suffered from her past. At just 6 years old, Lucas’ mother sold her into sex trafficking in Belgium.
“I was in a murderous, pedophile network in Belgium, and I was very much imprisoned in that network. I had no free choice whatsoever,” said Lucas.
Once yoga became a part of her everyday lifestyle, she knew that it was life-changing for her, and she had a vision for her organization, saying that “yoga is the perfect healing tool.”
Inmate Gloria Nelligan is beyond grateful for Lucas, and is amazed at her teachings.
“Whatever we have inside of us, she makes it OK to let it out through yoga. I just learned how to release all of the negative energy and that I’m safe and that I’m OK within these walls.”
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