The LPY Unconditionality Model

Fred is one of the die-hards in our group on Rikers Island, has been participating for a year now. He is the first one there and the last to leave. He is so protective of me, that he sometimes has trouble relaxing during meditations, because he’ll get frustrated with inmates being noisy or trying to get in the dayroom to …

The right use of commands

King, strong and muscular, entered the class for yoga at Rikers Island. The dorm has 100 beds. We practice in the dayroom, usually with a fairly large audience of other inmates who watch through plexiglass walls from the dorm. That audience also pays us visits, making their way through and over the mats to get their coffee from the container in the corner. While noise …

Making a connection in the dark.

Yesterday, I spent my usual hour driving from Brooklyn to Elmhurst in Queens to the Rikers Island Bridge, and the usual extra half hour to get from the bridge through the reception building to the numbered buses taking you to your jail. The bus system just changed – there used to be no schedule so you could get lucky – …

Sex abuse survivor group closing meditation

Our group for sex-traffic survivors at Rikers Island is growing. The first person to share this week was new, with an absolutely heartrending story, which she shared for the very first time. I was worried that she was opening up too much at once, that she might stay too open afterwards. The structure of our group is sound, though, with …

Sacred Sounds in the Men’s class at Rikers Island

On Friday, David Crilly, the teacher who has been coming to Rikers Island every week to teach a yoga class to the men at AMKC, wasn’t able to be there, so I subbed. Originally, I had brought David in and had been teaching the class for a while, and so it was really good to see the men again, as …

Poem by Inmate X

Since the pilot program started in April 2014, including discussion and free-flow writing in the yoga and meditation program, I’ve come to know my students much better than ever before. I ask them to write however they want, in whatever language they want, not to pay attention to grammar or spelling, because it doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t …

Sex-Trafficking

Anneke Lucas conducts two programs at the Rose M. Singer Center at Riker’s Island with sex traffic victims. The groups are conducted in a separate conference room and are anonymous and private. Nothing that is shared goes on record, even though an intern who works for the two dorms’ Correctional Supervisors is always present. The anonymity and safety guidelines of …