Yoga in Prison
Yoga is becoming a popular practice in many prisons all over the world due to various reasons. Prisoners can use yoga to alleviate stress, physical and mental problems and most importantly to reform themselves. As a result, yoga in prison is gaining recognition among prison officials and governments. Read on to learn why yoga in prison is becoming popular around the world.
Common problems in Jail
In a typical jail, prisoners live like caged animals in small spaces surrounded by deranged and often violent inmates. Prison life is thus traumatic to say the least. Not surprisingly, many prisoners develop ailments like back problems, allergies, migraines, ulcers, bowel disorders, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, insomnia, frustration, depression, fear, anger, stress, anxiety etc.
How Yoga in Prison can Help
Research has conclusively proved that yogic practices can balance and regulate hormones. Thus, prisoners can become physically and mentally disciplined. They can gain control and stability of mind and body. Ideally, a prison should reform the prisoner and not punish him. Crime is committed by those who have weak and ignorant minds. Yoga makes the mind strong, positive and healthy, thereby helping the prisoner realize their past mistakes and rectify them in the present. Thus, the prodigal son can truly return to the fold with the help of yoga.
Yoga in Australian Prison
Records reveal that yoga greatly benefited prisoners in Australia, when they tried it in 1996. The prisoners reported improved levels of concentration, relaxation, flexibility, and physical health after practicing yoga. Mentally, they felt more content and satisfied. Yogic abdominal breathing helped them during stressful times in the prison. They also got positive feedback from the prison officials regarding their attitude and general behavior. Most importantly, yoga stress management helped the prisoners overcome negative feelings like anger, depression and loneliness and improved their self-image, confidence and self-esteem.
Yoga in Indian Prison
Experiments with yoga in an Indian prison have also proved successful. The prisoners took part in yoga and meditation classes for four weeks. All the prisoners said they felt more confident and were willing to return to society to lead productive lives. Meditation helped to calm them down and differentiate between right and wrong. Prison authorities said the students became less aggressive and more quiet and positive because of yoga.
The above examples and many other case studies prove that yoga in prison helps prisoners reduce their hostility, anxiety and other negative emotions. The prisoners thus become more positive towards fellow inmates and jail authorities. Thus, yoga in prison is an ideal tool to reform and help prisoners instead of punishing them.