Nøsen Yoga Retreat Center collaborates with and supports several social projects. Here is a short overview of some of the projects that we work with.
Gangsteryoga is a Norwegian NGO which belongs to the foundation "Yoga for Livet" ["Yoga for Life", Ed]. Gangster Yoga's mission and long term vision is that of working on preventive measures to help youngsters at risk and to give former prison inmates an opportunity to participate in this process.
Gangster Yoga emphasizes what it means to be human and attempts to help people get in touch with their deepest self. Gangster Yoga teaches people how to breathe through challenges, how to feel pain and discomfort, and how to gradually build up greater clarity of mind, a clarity of mind that can be stable and long-lasting.
On a more practical level, Gangster Yoga offers yoga classes to inmates across the country, to help them stay off the criminal path.
Alexander Medin, the owner of Nøsen Yoga Retreat Center, is one of the founders of the Gangster Yoga Project in Norway, and teaches at several jails and prisons across the country.
Back in the ring
BITR is a project that was launched in 2013, as a trial within the Gangster Yoga Initiative. The project is an offer for everyone who, having experienced issues of addiction, wishes to do a comeback to life.
The driving force behind BITR has been to give help to self-help. The project uses yoga, breath and meditation techniques, in order to help people develop greater self-awareness. This helps to clean and fortify the body and helps develop clarity of mind.
The project focuses on social work, as a mean to help addicts and former addicts to come out of their "bubble" and experience feelings of joy and satisfaction as a result of giving back to society and being helpful to others.
As an example of the initiatives supported by BITR, in the spring of 2017, a group from Back in The Ring travelled to India to build toilets for women in Mumbai.
This is the story of some inmates that choose to take up a practice of yoga while spending time in prison. Three of them are now yoga teachers and helping youth at risk build up good values through yoga.
More info on Gangsteryoga can be found at http://www.gangsteryoga.no/
Workers from Back in the Ring working in Mumbai, India
Several Indian newspaper covered the story. Have a read below at what some of the newspaper had to say on the project.
- "Norwegian volunteers build public toilet for women near Mumbai Central station", by Hindustantimes.com
- "In Mumbai, ex-convicts and drug addicts from Norway build toilet for women", by "The Times of India"