Acroyoga in the juvenile prison – Italy

Within the limit there is freedom

Within the change, even painful, I can find wonderful opportunities

Through mutual support, we bloom together

With the desire of sharing this philosophy, the Acroyoga lab project in the juvenile prison of Palermo was born.

The Malaspina juvenile penal institute is a progressive place: beyond the perimeter walls there is a universe made of learning paths, and ethical and professional re-education. Different areas of the structure are intended for training activities such as theater, yoga, cooking and painting workshops. We expected aseptic walls and, instead, the walls of the corridors and classrooms are colored by the paintings of the detained boys.

In this fertile ground we were excited to offer our therapeutic idea of “being together” to a dozen youths between 14 and 25 years of age with a very difficult experience.
So Alessia, inspired by the Training Course for Social Inclusion, and a group of 6 friends from the Acrobatic Yoga Sicily school, as well as Acroyoga teachers, educators and psychologists, met with the intention of share Acroyoga workshops, focusing on:
• Team-work: Learn how to cooperate and to support each other
• Develop self-efficacy and trust in Others
• Practice listening and non-violent communication
• Overcome perceived physical and emotional limitations
• Improve mental and physical health through muscle strengthening and flexibility work

The workshops started on February 24, 2020
The feedback from the group of young people was very positive.
They always showed interest in experimenting new things during each laboratory. Although most of them have good body awareness and good muscle tone, their self-efficacy improved by discovering that they were able of supporting themselves in acrobatic and even in an emotional way.
Even only after the first meeting the effects of our medicine of funny play were visible on their happy faces : – Thanks, during this hour and a half I even forgot to be in prison!