It's easy for society to forget troubled children who are incarcerated. However, Bart van Melik of the Lineage Project has made it his mission to let these youths know that there are people who still care about them and want to help them live more productive lives. To that end, he's teaching them stress relief techniques through New York yoga classes.
The Lineage Project takes a holistic approach to improving the lives of incarcerated individuals who are between the ages of 10 and 21. The nonprofit organization believes that yoga and meditation can help alleviate anxiety while supporting self-esteem and improving impulse control, according to the Huffington Post.
This can be valuable for the nearly 4,900 adolescents in New York's detention centers. Many of these individuals are racial minorities who come from places that are impoverished, driving them to gang culture and substance abuse.
Melik recalled one particular girl who benefited from his instruction.
She told him, "Bart, I did what you taught me, I breathed and watched my fear. I was able to focus and I heard what the judge said, what I needed to do to change. Previous times, I did not know what he said. But this time, the judge said he saw someone very different standing before him," Melik recounted to the news source.