A national expert on youth justice with a longstanding interest in mindfulness and yoga, Gabrielle is thrilled that Lineage Project brings these transformative practices to youth in great need, including those who are incarcerated, homeless, and suspended from school.
Gabrielle is a dynamic and sought after public speaker on court-involved youth. Her TEDx talk On Canaries, Love and Justice explored how children serve as an early warning system for societal dysfunction and how her own meditation practice deepened her compassion for youth in the justice system.
Gabrielle previously served as Director of the Juvenile Justice Project at the Correctional Association of New York; a Legal Aid attorney for children in child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency cases in New York City’s Family Courts; the Brennan Fellow (1st Amendment law) at the American Civil Liberties Union; and the Derrick Bell Fellow (constitutional law) at NYU Law.
She holds a J.D. cum laude from NYU School of Law (Arthur Garfield Hays Fellow), an M.A. from the University of Alabama, and a B.S. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University (Posse Scholar). She is also the author of When the Cure Makes You Ill: Seven Core Principles to Change the Course of Youth Justice (56 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1413).
Chia-Ti is a certified yoga teacher and Thai body worker. She received her certification in yoga therapy from the Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, in 2003. She is also trained in classical hatha yoga through the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Camp and in Yin Yoga with Victor Chang. She has taught yoga in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her passion is working with teenagers, and she teaches in public high schools, foster care, alternate-to-incarceration sites and juvenile detention centers. Chia-Ti believes that yoga fosters confidence, peace and creativity, empowering people to make healthy choices.
Bart van Melik
Bart developed and ran educational programs with youth, refugees and immigrants in the Netherlands before moving to New York City in 2008. His teacher, Joseph Goldstein, introduced him to The Lineage Project, where he began as a volunteer and was hired in 2010 as a rehabilitation counselor. Bart holds a Master’s degree in the Psychology of Culture and Religion from the Nijmegen University in The Netherlands. He is inspired by the wisdom and compassion of the youth he teaches.
Joshua Bee Alafia
Joshua has been working with youth empowerment projects since 1996, teaching Capoeira, filmmaking, Tai Chi, Qigong, Muay Thai and meditation. He began volunteering with Lineage in 2011 at the suggestion of his mentor and meditation teacher, Gina Sharpe, and he now teaches at high schools and alternate-to-incarceration sites. He received a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and film from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Joshua is interested in exploring new ways to bring mindfulness into daily awareness.
Since completing her 200-hour and prenatal yoga teacher trainings in 2007, Leslie has taught in many different at-risk communities, finding her calling to teach yoga and meditation to incarcerated youth through Lineage. She is now involved in leading the Lineage teacher trainings. She has also facilitated a mindfulness-based intervention with adolescents on Riker’s Island for two years through New York University, and has taught with the Prison Yoga Project in Northern California. She teaches a seven-week training in yoga and activism through Off the Mat, Into the World, and has recently undertaken a 350-hour training at California’s Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Daniela Colaianni Poe
Daniela was born and raised in Italy, where she found yoga through her theater studies at age 15. She immediately loved how yoga combines peaceful, non-competitive practice with an opportunity for creative self-expression, and it quickly became an indispensible part of her life. Daniela holds a Master’s degree in Performing Arts and teaches yoga to children, teenagers and adults, including moms-to-be and new mothers. She has taught yoga in Italian public schools and currently teaches in New York City public schools.
Amy is dedicated to sharing the practice of yoga in ways that reflect her own heartfelt inquiry and practice. She received her first 200-hour certification with Integral Yoga in 2004 and completed an Anusara teacher training in 2009. She offers yoga to a diverse range of students including NYC public school teachers and students, NYU and Fordham students, nurses, athletes, musicians, pre-schoolers, foster parents and seniors. She teaches at MindBodySoulYoga in Washington Heights, Bread & Yoga in Inwood and CAP21 Conservatory, as well as with the Lineage Project. Her teaching reflects her belief that the deepest wisdom lies within, and that every mind, body and heart possesses the innate ability to heal.
Gina de la Chesnaye
Gina received her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training under Alison West of Yoga Union in 2011 and began volunteering and teaching with Lineage Project in 2013. She currently teaches and has taught at various alternate learning centers, transfer high schools, residential incarceration sites and alternate-to-incarceration programs. She is a writer and photographer as well with an MFA in Photography from Hunter College and has written numerous articles on yoga, meditation, Buddhism, mindfulness and martial arts for YogaCityNYC, The Huffington Post and NY Yoga + Life Magazine. Gina is also a faculty member of The International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights which offers Contemplative Based Resiliency Trauma Training and Prevention Protocol for people suffering from PTSS. She believes that aligning the body, aligns the mind and healing the body, heals the mind.
Ani has developed a breath-based core strength training and a yoga series for singers. She teaches at OM Yoga Center, and is a graduate of OM as well as Leslie Kaminoff’s advanced yoga anatomy program. She has studied mindfulness meditation with Larry Rosenberg, restorative yoga with Judith Lasater and Thai massage through the Lotus Palm School. Ani is also a freelance grant writer for nonprofit arts, education and alternative health organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and fiction writing from Bard College.