The kind of meditation the Trust recommends is silent and breath-based, done while sitting still, focussing attention on the breathing. Yoga is a practice of using the breath, body and attention in a variety of postures and movements to help relieve physical and mental tension by bringing the systems of the body into harmony. It provides perfect preparation for seated meditation.
Yoga and meditation as the Trust recommends them can be practiced by people of any faith, and any physical ability.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation in Prisons
The benefits of yoga and meditation for prisoners have been researched by Oxford University and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.
- Have reduced impulsiveness
- Feel less angry and aggressive
- Sleep better
- Are less prone to taking drugs
- Are more ready to take up other educational activities
- Develop self discipline and concentration, often for the first time
- Find something in themselves they like. They feel less isolated and more inclined to socialise, which prepares them well for resettlement
- Manage their stress better
- Become more tolerant
- Are sharper on the wings
- Experience some peace and deep relaxation, leaving them refreshed and prepared for their demanding work