The Lineage Project, phenomenal organization (stay tuned for a post on yoga organizations that are making an impact!) that brings yoga to disadvantaged youth in New York City. The following is their mission from the About page on their website.
The Lineage Project uses mindfulness practices to break the cycle of poverty, violence and incarceration in New York City.
We take youth from the most challenging life circumstances and give them the tools to value themselves and become contributing members of their communities.
Through yoga, meditation and other powerful techniques, we go inside youths’ hearts and minds. We prevent young people at risk of incarceration from ending up there, and we help those already detained from having to return.
We take our proven model inside juvenile detention centers, alternative-to-incarceration programs, public schools for struggling students — anywhere we can reach those who are vulnerable.
Our students, ages 10 to 24, come from New York City’s 15 poorest neighborhoods. Sixty-percent of our students are African American; 35 percent are Latino. The majority have had substance abuse or alcohol issues, 75 percent are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and 75 percent of the females have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused.
We go inside to keep them out.
This month, The Lineage Project is undergoing a fantastic fundraising effort to reflect exactly what their project does (I’m an English major and thus ABSOLUTELY ADORE when form mirrors content). This fundraising effort is called “Mindful May” and is intended to be a mutually beneficial way of encouraging seva-minded people (“seva” means “service” in Sanskrit) to be more mindful in their day-to-day in May, to commit to it, and to earn money for the Lineage Project through staying accountable for their actions.
I knew I wanted to participate in Mindful May upon seeing this video and receiving this month’s Lineage Project newsletter, but I did not know what to contribute of my actions. I lead a relatively mindful life…because I practice and teach yoga and surround myself with incredibly uplifting people. In addition, I did not want to eliminate anything from my life because I believe in the power of positive psychology and adding, rather than subtracting in terms of inspiration.
And then, I had a weekend of highs and lows, of the roller coaster of health and wellness. I felt phenomenal after taking Dana Flynn’s Revival class. Then, we went out for burritos because it was Cinco de Mayo and I felt depleted afterward. I had trouble focusing…and trouble teaching. That was when I knew what I wanted for Mindful May: to cultivate those habits that energize me and to let go of the ones that don’t.
In brief, here is what I am doing this May:
ENERGIZE: LETTING IN
- lots of water
- inspiring conversations with new and old friends
- new experiences
- service opportunities - teaching
- green juices
- yoga - especially inversions
- long walks in nature
DEPLETION: LETTING GO
- white flour
- lack of sleep
- red wine
- things that I check out doing (mindless tv and web surfing)
But I can’t do any of this alone. Furthermore, neither can The Lineage Project. Please support their endeavors and this amazing organization by contributing this Mindful May. Click here to make a difference and to support bringing yoga to juvenile detention facilities in NYC.