Eli Goodrich is a part of our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) at Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute - Phoenix. He is also a Certified Peer Specialist on the Residential Treatment Unit in the prison’s Mental Health Block. We hope Eli will find his training helpful in incorporating yoga and mindfulness into the incredible work he does on the Residential Treatment Unit.

Eli is also a member of the Restorative Justice Alumni. In addition to studying yoga, Eli is also busy preparing to playing the part of Lady Macbeth in their upcoming production of Macbeth at SCI - Phoenix in June.

In order to connect to bridging the wall between those who are incarcerated and you all, Eli agreed to anser some questions.

Eli’s favorite quote is this one from Ghandi. Personal transformation creates a ripple effect into the larger world.

Eli’s favorite quote is this one from Ghandi. Personal transformation creates a ripple effect into the larger world.

Here is what he had to say -

What inspires you?

Sincerity, service, challenging the ego, resilience and self-awareness.

What do you hope to inspire in others?

Resilience, authenticity, courage to be vulnerable, the value of finding and connecting with your true self.

What would you like to share with the larger community?

That we inmates are not “the other.” We are individuals with stories and experiences. Just as we are not definied by the best thing we’ve ever done we are not defined by the worst.

What would you like to share with younger folks?

Develop coping skills for stress early. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, not everyone is going to like you and that’s ok.

How has community shown up for you?

Besides our amazing and talented TYP volunteers, I’ve always been amazed by how many people offer themselves, to help prisoners - volunteers, staff, psych, and security.

How have you shown up for your community?

I believe in the value stewardship. We have an obligation to God and man to make the most of our talents and abilities in the service to ourselves and others.

What if anything has YTT added to your sense of community?

I find comfort and support knowing that there are men who want to find another way to be in the world outside of our aggression, ego and confrontation and fear.

Learn more about our Yoga Teacher Training on StartSomeGood. If you feel connected, or compelled, to support the individuals as they become certified yoga teachers, please make a pledge! A ripple effect of transformation happens when we realize were all connected and can share in healing.