Breathing For Freedom
Since 2006 thousands of Argentine prisoners have completed regular Art of Living courses including, Advanced Meditation Courses (Part 2), Art of Living Yoga and pre-Teachers Training Course.
Ismael Mastrini, a lawyer, closed his firm to dedicate his time fully to Prison Smart Programs in maximum security prisons.
15 prisons in the province of Buenos Aires, 2 in Mendoza, Chaco, Tucuman, Rio Negro, Santa Fe and Tierra del Fuego. This year the number of prisons will be extended. About 5 000 inmates have so far taken Art of Living programs this year. The Art of Living Foundation also organizes Yoga Rave parties and has special units where only inmates who do their practices regularly can live.
Prison Directors call the Art of Living teachers requesting programs all the time. Two inmates have left the prison and are now teaching the Art of Living courses.
A Prisoner Shares
"Yesterday my mom came to visit me and I told her:
"We have to be happy now. She said she would be
happy when I get free from prison…then I told her:
"What if we are happy now?" and then we joined
in the most beautiful hug I ever had with
my mother...this works, teacher"
- Baradero Prison, Argentina – 2012
Ismael Mastrini - Prison SMART Coordinator:
"I started working by the end of 2008. Since then, 5,200 inmates have taken the course. From the beginning, I decided that we wouldn't open any prison where we could not give a monthly course, and a weekly satsang. In time, however, there was the need for daily attendance and that is what we are doing.
We are a group of six Part 1 Course teachers and one Art of Living Yoga course teacher. We are almost full time teachers. Due to the number of Part 1 courses that some inmates had taken, it became necessary for them to take a Part 2 course, and that is how Sri Sri appointed me as Part 2 instructor for prisons. That is what I have been doing since 2011 in Argentina and Brazil.
By the end of last year, the first inmate teacher graduated from our work at the prisons. He is today in charge of a centre and there is already a group of inmates that are awaiting to follow the same path. Today The 'Art of Living Wing' at the prison is one year old. In such prison 32 inmates are held under maximum security, where we practice everyday. We eradicate fights. A clean, dignifying place to live and to perform the practices."