Skip to main content Skip to search
“I Feel Mad Light”: Sharing Mindfulness-Based Strategies with Troubled Youth
Alternative Offender Rehabilitation and Social Justice
Format: Book Chapter
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Place of Publication: London
Pages: 32 - 52
Source ID: shanti-sources-68456
Abstract: At the end of a short meditation exercise where students were asked to bring attention to their breath and its movement through the body, the teacher asked the young people seated on yoga mats around the room how they were feeling. “Calm.” “Relaxed.” “Good.” “Energized.” “Awake.” “Inside myself.” The students, all Black and Hispanic male clients of an Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) program for 16-to-24-year-olds had just come to the end of a class taught by the Lineage Project, a New York City non-profit that offers mindfulness-based classes to youth in various settings such as detention centres, Alternative to Incarceration/Detention (ATI/ATD) programs, and suspension schools. For the past hour, the students had participated in a class that included a discussion around a mindfulness theme (i.e., acceptance), a sequence of yoga poses, or asanas, and some seated meditation. Lineage Project teachers have been teaching these skills to troubled youth in New York City since 1998. Their work, forged over years working with youth in often challenging settings, is grounded in an expanding body of literature that suggests that youth, especially vulnerable youth, can derive important benefit from learning mindfulness-based practices such as yoga and meditation.