"This work is inspiring, hopeful, and revolutionary," said one of our mentors in our Mindful Mentoring Program. And one of the mentees, a young adult in the program, said, "I am tired of drugs, anger and violence in the streets. Our communities need peace and healing, and yoga can bring that. That is the gift I want to bring to my communities." As Baltimore grieves, what difference could this practice make if the Police Officers and our youth learned to act with self-mastery?
It was a weekly Peer Leadership Meeting with students from an Oakland high school. After every one of the 12 in the circle led the others in a few minutes of practice, we all sat down to discuss the connections between optimal leadership qualities and Dynamic Mindfulness.
The Barrio Logan district in San Diego has poverty, crime and violence written all over it - remember Gangland? Niroga has a program in two schools there, a late elementary school and a middle school. See what happened when two students from each classroom in the middle school came together to form a Mindfulness Team.
A Rifle Range in a School? Indeed, Oakland High School used to have a rifle range on campus, built by the JROTC (military recruitment) folks, but it is currently being used for yoga. An Oak High school teacher, who is trained in Niroga's Transformative Life Skills and is currently completing the Niroga Certified Yoga Teacher Training program, took it upon herself to transform the rifle range into a healing sanctuary, a safe space for transformative practice.
Building on the success of school programs in San Diego, and the growing need for our Dynamic Mindfulness programs throughout Southern California, Niroga celebrates its 10th birthday by opening a branch office in Los Angeles, with Coleen Armstrong-Yamamura as Program Manager.
I was recently asked the question, "Why are you so passionate about schools adopting dynamic mindfulness?" Although there are many logical and scientifically supported answers to that question, the answer that came from my heart was, "For Lawrence."
A concerned parent from a high-performing Silicon Valley high school reached out for help recently, after another student at that school had committed suicide. While parents, teachers, counselors and administrators were frantically looking for solutions, the students were vocal at a recent school board meeting.
One in 30 Americans is either in prison, on parole or on probation, and the US has one of the highest incarceration rates for youth and adults in the world. Not only is this a colossal waste of human potential, but also given that 3 out of 4 people released go right back in, this trillion-dollar revolving door is not financially sustainable. Additionally, there is disproportionate representation of minorities in the criminal justice population.
Building on her presentation at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Professor Lynette Lee from the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento recently wrote a paper on Evidence-Based Criminal Justice Practices and Transformative Life Skills.
Given the pervasive presence of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and asthma in our communities, and especially in underserved communities, and that 75% of every dollar spent on health care goes to treatment of chronic diseases, a series of exciting partnerships are forming to provide avenues for deploying Niroga trained yoga therapists.
For several years, we have been comprehensively training yoga teachers and health professionals to become excellent yoga therapists.
Summarizing the results from 32 Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), researchers published a recent paper on the effectiveness of yoga for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, in the journal Preventive Cardiology.