“By the time most of us get in here we have experienced some kind of trauma in our lives,” said inmate Raelynn Amour. “Now we live in a room with 20 other women and many of us are looking for threats, even if there are none. We’re quick to become defensive. It’s a pattern we learned on the outside to protect ourselves.”
Having to be on alert 24 hours a day in an unpredictable environment can take a profound toll on one’s nervous system, say inmates, and there are very few opportunities for feelings of safety, peace and ever- elusive silence.
That’s where Schuyler Bright comes in. As director of the Holistic Trauma Recovery Institute, Bright’s goal as a trauma-informed yoga instructor is to reach out to those who may never have attended a yoga class during the course of their everyday lives — especially those who may never have actively engaged in self healing or self care.