When Thomas, Olivier, and I started atlasGO, personal well-being was always at the core. The idea that “you need to put on your mask first before helping someone else put theirs on.”
Three years ago, if you had told me I would be a yoga teacher and launching yoga and meditation on the atlasGO app, I would have struggled to believe you! I guess that’s the beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur. As we evolve and grow, so does our business.
Especially being an entrepreneur, yoga and meditation have been at the heart center of tools that keep me grounded, present, grateful, and that gives me the energy to keep going. Yoga, for some, maybe starts with physical practice. I know that’s what brought me in. Being a runner it saw the next challenge. How could I master the ‘hardest’ pose? The more I deepen my practice. However, the less accomplishing these poses perfectly becomes the goal.
Today my practice is very different than what it was three years ago, and it is still evolving. I am so grateful for what it continues to teach me, and I am so excited to announce this yoga and meditation challenge launch with the Prison Yoga Project. Bringing trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga directly to prisoners around the world!
I had the pleasure of chatting with Bill Brown, Executive Director, Prison Yoga Project, to learn more about their cause.
“To be cut off from others through incarceration (or as the incarcerator) creates tremendous suffering. This isolation is not just physical, the separation from society, or worse, solitary confinement. The isolation can also be psychic, emotional, and spiritual. The stress of incarceration forces many to wear a mask of toughness. Self-preservation is a biological imperative, and so we don’t judge this self-defensive posture. This mask, though, causes isolation from the Self.
Yoga and mindfulness naturally support a fearlessness, or, at least, an increased ability to remain grounded in the face of fear. Through concentrated practice and bringing that practice into our lives, we become more aware of our triggers and less prone to reacting to them. In this stance of resilient fearlessness, love naturally emerges. It is our nature to connect with others. Love is our essential nature and emerges in the absence of fear.”
We’re proud to be a part of bringing yoga and mindfulness to prisoners around the world with the Prison Yoga Project.
“We are all healing, growing, and becoming more self-aware. One thing that’s for sure is that there is no shortage of stressful situations or conflicts here in prison. Yoga has helped me to be more aware and alert to my surroundings making it more possible for me to avoid at-risk situations. However, for those I can’t avoid, I have new skills such as remaining calm, understanding how I feel, being able to experience my feelings, positive self-talk, and most importantly a greater level of self-value making it impossible for me to let myself get into any trouble. Yoga is a very powerful practice and should be taught in every prison. The energy that is manifested in a yoga class can change the dynamic of an entire prison yard.”
J.B., RJ Dononvan State Prison, San Diego, CA
Join the first-ever yoga and meditation challenge on atlasGO
Click here to join the challenge for a $35 donation to the Prison Yoga Project, wherever in the world you are, with a chance to win amazing Lululemon prizes (full yoga outfits, yoga mats & more). If you’re in San Francisco, there will be a donation-based in-person class led by the amazing Jessica Seid. Wherever you are in the world, you can follow this class virtually!
Chief Partnership Builder & Co-founder, atlasGO