YJ People’s Choice Seva Award scholarship nominee, Good Karma Awards
Yoga instructor to incarcerated women
As a full-time mom homeschooling her children, Kath Meadows began practicing yoga and found it so nurturing and supportive that she wanted to give back to others.
In 2009, she began teaching at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW), where she continues to teach. She has since begun teaching at the women’s unit at Patuxent Institution and for both men and women at Dorsey Run Correctional Facility, teaching a total of five classes a week as a volunteer at the three institutions. Though she also teaches yoga to the general public, she has said that nothing gives her as much sense of purpose as she gets from teaching behind bars. As she told The Huffington Post, “I knew that I would learn about [prisoners], but I did not know that I would learn so much from them. I did not expect the depth of connection, receptivity, and dedication to the practice.”
In 2014, in collaboration with the Prison Yoga Project, Kath wrote A Woman’s Practice: Healing from the Heart, an accessible, comprehensive guide to the benefits of a personal yoga practice for underserved women. Each $14.95 sale of the book supports the donation of three books to female inmates across the U.S. She also recently added a weekly yoga class for prison staff at MCIW, to help them deal with the harsh, stressful prison environment.