The cornerstone of The Art of Yoga Project is the Yoga & Creative Arts Curriculum, a year-round 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
- Develop a productive outlet for their emotions and dreams
Class begins with a rigorous, strengthening yoga practice and follows with a creative art activity. Throughout the class, facilitators lead discussions on yoga-related themes such as nonviolence, sexual ethics, and integrity.
The course is comprised of three sessions: fall, winter and spring:
Fall: Introduction: Building strength and flexibility of mind and body
- Introducing Yoga’s Eightfold Path: Basic yoga postures and theory including history, purpose and benefits of yoga
- Visual arts: collage, sculpture, life-size body mapping with paint, mandalas, mosaic and mixed media
Winter: Introspection: Yoga and the journey within Yamas and Niyamas
- Introducing personal discipline and yoga’s guidelines for living, including non-stealing, non-violence, personal hygiene, integrity of word and action, and sexual mindfulness
- Creative writing, journaling and poetry for self-reflection and centering
Spring: Integration: Finding unity in diversity
- Deepening a yoga practice: learning breathing, concentration and meditation techniques, partner work, cultivating friendship, respect, team-building, tolerance and productive contribution to the community.
- Group art projects: murals and group sculpture; improvisational theater and collective poetry
Each curriculum class begins with a rigorous, strengthening yoga practice and follows with a creative art activity. Throughout the class, facilitators lead discussions on yoga-related themes, such as nonviolence, sexual ethics, and integrity.