The 11 Karmic Spaces Sponsorship Project
This Sponsorship Project was initially inspired by Kashi Atlanta’s Jail Yoga program that has brilliantly woven Ma Jaya’s teachings from her book, The 11 Karmic Spaces, into the classes that they have been offering to prisoners in Atlanta since 2013. The teachers continue to be impressed with how responsive the prisoners are to this book, and every year more are given away.
The premise of The 11 Karmic Spaces book is about finding freedom from the places where we get stuck – internally or externally – a situation with which prisoners are all too familiar. Ma explains that repeated patterns of behavior trap us, accumulating over time and even generations, making us all prisoners of one sort or another. She then provides accessible tools and positive affirmations (graces) to help us recognize and then gradually free ourselves from our self-made traps.
The 11 Karmic Spaces has also been studied and given away at a rehab center meditation class in Florida. While not written with Alcoholic Anonymous’ Twelve Steps in mind, Ma’s personal history of growing up poor on the streets of Coney Island gives her firsthand understanding and insight into addictions and the web of untruths they weave around our lives. Filled with practical exercises and insights, The 11 Karmic Spaces is a treasured resource for those doing daily battle with addiction.
If you would like to help support this program, you can do so in two simple ways:
- Contribute money to enable us to continue giving the books away to prisons and rehab centers. Books are sponsored at cost plus media mail shipping totaling $7 each. Make a donation. Be sure to specify the Sponsorship Project in the memo.
- Put us in touch with specific staff, prisoners or residents of jails, prisons or rehab centers where the books would be incorporated into ongoing programs or given to specific individuals you know personally. We will ship to them directly. Email us at email@example.com.
From a teacher in the prison program…
4NW men’s pod was empty and getting painted this week. The men had been moved to 5SE (across the complex) and are expected to be there another few days to a week (warning for next week). Class began at 9:40 in 5SE with 10 students and no mats. We did a standup class which was interesting to sequence on the fly but I think it turned out pretty well.
The warrior postures have name appeal on the men’s side and we did mostly 3-5 posture sequences leading up to revolved lunges and half-moon type poses. Somewhere in there we reviewed fire breath (standing) and worked it into a few poses. We also talked about the art of hesitation and did chidakash breath. The class ended with a 5 minute chidakash breath meditation seated against the wall, which chilled everybody out.
After class a few asked for a practice to do during the week so we did a few sun salutations. Throughout the class I was getting accosted for forgetting the books on my kitchen counter, so I told them I would bring the books this afternoon if I could get back in. I gave one student my book and we ended class. The student asked me where the yoga poses were in the book….I let him know it wasn’t a posture book but a life skills book. I realized that forgetting the books gave me the opportunity to print 10 copies of a sun salutation sequence to give out with the books. The students gave me a list of their names and room #s as a way of reserving their copies.
They let me back in later in the day and the guard brought me into the pod where we were surrounded by all 27 residents of the pod. We handed out the ten to the students from this morning’s class, accepted expressions of grief from others who informed us we needed 17 more books to hand out and left. It is wonderful that they want Ma’s book. What can we need to do to fulfill it?
Love Kali Ma Das (Kashi Atlanta Yoga teacher)
From a prisoner who received a copy of 11 Karmic Spaces…