Adhyatma is the director of The Yoga Education in Prisons Trust, a registered charitable trust providing yoga and meditation education in New Zealand prisons.
In July 2016 she was interviewed on Radio New Zealand about the Yoga In Prisons Trust.
You can also listen on the Radio NZ website here >>
We have elected a new Chairperson to replace Heather Cunningham. We are pleased to announce that Gyananidhi – Jane Allen – one of our long-time prison yoga teachers has accepted the role. We had our first official meeting on 30 January and myself, Yogeshwaran and Leigh are excited to be working more closely with her.
Our research project has been launched. Victoria University student Jonathan Muirhead has begun what YEPT hopes will become a 3-4 year Masters thesis into the effects of yoga on the incarcerated. This research may prove to be the most comprehensive international research yet. The challenging part will be getting the researcher into prisons to work with our clients but we plan to work hard alongside the University to make our vision a reality.
With that we would also like to thank our dear sponsors and supporters We’ar and Kara Leah of The Yoga Lunchbox for their continued financial support without which such visions would not become actions. Kara-Leah donates $1 from each of her print books Forty Days of Yoga and The No-More-Excuses Guide to Yoga plus 5% of her online sales of the books.
In closing once again we offer you Seasons Greetings and hope you and yours have had an equally relaxing and inspirational summer as we at YEPT have enjoyed.
More News From The Autumn Newsletter Here from our Newsletter >>
Such an exciting season, a season of change of new life and fresh starts, of growth and blossoming. This winter has been fairly quiet for us. However the onset of spring has already brought about change and exciting prospects for the YEPT team, both positive and negative.
On the 4th of September we sadly received resignation from our chairperson Heather Cunningham. Heather has worked tirelessly for YEPT since its inception in 2009. Her decisive management and support will be sorely missed by the YEPT Trustees. Heather however needs to focus on herself and the needs of her family at this time and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Cunningham family at what is a difficult time for her.
On a positive note we are increasing momentum in our prison classes. Winter saw some of our teachers taking leave and we are now excited to have classes starting up again, including some new units.
Our research project is going well. Elizabeth St John Ives has made some exciting progress and we are offering a summer scholorship through Victoria University.
Adhyatma returned to Rimutaka Prison in April this year, thanks to our sponsors support. She has continued her class there through winter and has recently taken on a second unit.
Gyananidhi had to take leave over winter to return to the UK to nurse her sick father who recently passed. At the end of August she returned to NZ and is planning to return to Christchurch Men’s Prison this coming term
Yogeshwaran also took leave over winter. He is currently negotiating to go in to work at a new drug treatment unit at Paremoremo Prison in Auckland.
Tracy Collins is taking a monthly class at Wanganui and is seeking funding to take weekly classes but the reality is we would need to increase her funding per class. We are budgeting to be able to realise this goal for Tracy.
Will Fenton is a teacher who has worked for us in the past at Rimutaka is planning to start at Waikeria Prison in the New Year. We endeavour to secure some funding for this from Trust Waikato, if this is not successful he will require our support to ensure this is sustainable for him long term.
We are also making progress to place a new teacher at Wiri Prison in South Auckland. At times it feels we are riding a wild horse and all we can do is hold on. The inspiration for this work is certainly catchy.
Peace to all. On behalf of Yoga Education in Prisons Trust.
We’re stoked Kara-Leah is again donating a portion of profits from her latest book The No-More-Excuses Guide to Yoga to YEPT. That money is invaluable to our organisation right now as we are still very grassroots and on the edge of great things happening that we need to support. If you know someone who has been talking about going to yoga but hasn’t made it to a yoga class yes, this is the book for them. Send them a link, or even better, buy them a copy!
Kara-Leah also donates money from every copy of Forty Days of Yoga she sells.
Currently 65 prisoners attend yoga sessions around NZ with 4 of our Volunteer teachers.
Most of the jails are about an hour away. Teaching time plus driving time means that to teach one class takes a half a day. Energetically it also takes mental preparation. Not only on the day but in one’s whole life. Our teachers all have a steady daily sadhana (practice) and training that has given them the steadfastness and fortitude to handle most situations with equanimity.
All our teachers comment on how they feel they get more out of this work than the prisoners which is good sign. It’s a sign they are following their dharmic path.
In this way YEPT flows and grows.
If you wish to support this growth we are asking for donations to supplement teachers petrol costs, admin time, and projects such as the creation and free distribution of a Yoga in Prisons CD based on our Freedom From Within Program.
YEPT have Donee Status which means individuals and companies can claim for donations made over $5 if they provide a receipt.