When November comes, there are some things that you can count on: the leaves changing, time “falling backwards” and Yoga Behind Bars’ (YBB) Gratitude in Motion. This year is the seventh year that YBB will be partnering with yoga studios and community centers throughout Washington with its largest community fundraiser appropriately titled Gratitude in Motion. The launch of the campaign this past Saturday at OmCulture was a powerful start.

Yoga Behind Bars is a group that brings yoga and meditation to people who are currently behind bars – men, women and children. With the tag line of “peace is an inside job,” Yoga Behind Bars reinforces the idea that when we find peace within ourselves, that inner peace is what is needed to transform our world.

OmCulture owner, Michael Suzerris, partnered with Yoga Behind Bars by offering his beautiful space to hold a practice led by the amazing Terilyn Wyre who donated her time within this precious container. The event was accompanied by music mixed by DJ Drishti before, during and after the moving community flow. Gratitude was the constant thread.

The practice began with a letter speaking to the transformation of one of YBB’s students. This student expressed his journey, resistance and finally hope for his future for the first time ever. In his letter, he attributed his change to his yoga classes with YBB. His story and his words set the tone. This practice was a reflection of the community moving for him and the many others that are finding hope through moving their bodies with yoga.

Channeling the theme of gratitude, Terilyn lead practitioners though a journey that was honest and beautiful complete with meditation. If you missed Saturday, there are many more opportunities to sit and practice with OUR community, to hold and be held, to acknowledge that true change begins and will end with us. We can energetically show our students that yogis practice what they preach and share love as a way of creating change in our society – one mat at a time.

You can join a Gratitude in Motion class near you by checking out Yoga Behind Bars website (yogabehindbars.org) for more participating studios. You can also donate money or time directly to Yoga Behind Bars so they can continue their work. Any action is felt energetically and always appreciated. Giving back is love that is generated without boundaries.

 


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Alyssa Pizarro

After leaving a 10 year corporate career in New York and moving to Seattle, she was able to pursue her passion for yoga which began in 2011. Alyssa likes to emphasize patience and self-acceptance in her classes with an approachable and welcoming tone. Even though she takes yoga seriously, she likes to balance her classes with both humor and playfulness. In 2015, Alyssa completed a 200 hr yoga certification in Nairobi, Kenya through Africa Yoga Project with Live Your Yoga, which is a part of the Baptiste lineage. She has attended multiple Off the Mat, Into the World trainings, is a Yoga Behind Bars teacher as well as a member of their Race and Social Justice Committee. Most recently, Alyssa completed the Street Yoga teacher training in 2016. In her spare time, Alyssa volunteer’s as a yoga teacher at an adult care facility and a shelter for homeless youth. Her time practicing yoga has taught her the power behind discovering self-love and Alyssa is committed to making yoga accessible to all. While yoga and seva is her passion, Alyssa also enjoys delicious food, reading, running and spending time with friends and family.