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First Person: A conversation with Mary Lynn Fitton

Founder of The Art of Yoga Project discusses her life and work

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Mary Lynn Fitton lives near Heritage Park in downtown Palo Alto where she spends much of her time helping teen girls in the criminal justice system develop self-control and self-esteem through yoga and the creative arts in The Art of Yoga Project.

Inspired by her own experience as a young girl when she "lost her way," Fitton now weaves together her professional work as a neuroscience nurse and family nurse practitioner, her personal yoga and expressive practices, including writing, improvisation and visual arts, and her deep commitment to providing a healthy alternative to self-destructive behaviors.

Adopted by the juvenile justice system in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties, The Art of Yoga Project serves more than 500 girls a year locally and thousands more through affiliates nationwide, helping them process their traumas, find their voice and stop the "cycle of violence."

Fitton and The Art of Yoga Project are featured in the documentary film "Yoga Woman," which will be screened at the Aquarius Theater in Palo Alto on May 10.

Interview by Lisa Van Dusen. Video by Rachel Hatch.

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