Marshawn Feltus, a Chicago Westside native, just shy of his 18th birthday, was sentenced to 38 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for first degree murder—in “a case of unnecessary, senseless violence.” Having served 18 years and 9 months in prison, Feltus used his incarceration as a learning institution, obtaining his GED and completing several years of college courses, as well as mentoring and tutoring fellow inmates in basic education and life skills.
While incarcerated, Marshawn also was introduced to his first yoga class. He discovered a level of healing and peace in the practice that made him want to share it with his inmates. He later became a co-instructor and helped train more than 800 men in Ashtanga Yoga.
Upon his release from prison, he volunteered at a local community center where he gained employment. In 2013, Marshawn Feltus opened the first yoga studio in Chicago’s Austin area, ACT Yoga. The company name was inspired by his personal journey to “Awareness, Change & Triumph.”
An inspiring speaker of empowerment, Feltus is an alumnus of the Bethel New life entrepreneurship program and also the Chicago Yoga Center, where he earned his certification to teach yoga. As founder and owner of ACT Yoga, Marshawn Feltus is on a mission to fulfill his life’s assignment to teach, touch and transmit “Awareness, Change & Triumph” for the body, mind, and spirit.