The Art of Yoga

"I do that crow pose when you put all your weight on your hands. I look at my hands then and I feel like I'm in charge. You get that feeling you can choose. That you can choose your own lifestyle, too. I want a healthy lifestyle. A safe one. A happy one."

-AYP Participant

Our vision is to lead teen girls in the California Juvenile Justice System toward accountability - to themselves, to others and to their community. By providing practical tools to effect behavioral change, we aspire to be a nationally recognized method for the effective treatment of at-risk adolescent girls, particularly in the juvenile justice system.

At The Art of Yoga Project we specialize in working with incarcerated teen girls offering trauma-informed and strength-based programming. Founded by nurse practitioner and yoga instructor Mary Lynn Fitton, The Art of Yoga Project began in 2003 as a pilot program and became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2005. Fitton created The Art of Yoga Project to help at-risk girls prepare for a positive future. Currently, we serve girls in California’s San Francisco Bay Area where we have a proven track record of success and a longstanding relationship with probation and the juvenile justice system.

The cornerstone of The Art of Yoga Project is the Yoga and Creative Arts Curriculum, a secular course that combines health education, character development, yoga, meditation and creative arts. This gender-responsive program teaches at-risk girls to identify the issues that cause them to make poor choices; manage their anger and impulses; become accountable for their actions, to themselves and their communities; and develop a productive outlet for their emotions and dreams. Each session begins with a rigorous, strengthening yoga practice and continues with a creative art activity. Throughout the class, trained facilitators lead discussions on themes such as non-violence, tolerance, sexual ethics, and integrity.

The Art of Yoga has been a grant recipient of Yoga Dana Foundation since 2010.