Yoga and meditation: the benefits

The Prison Phoenix Trust assists prisoners who wish to adopt a daily practice of meditation and yoga.

The kind of meditation the Trust recommends is silent and breath-based, done while sitting still, focussing only on breathing. Yoga is an ancient science of techniques practised with concentration that help relieve physical and mental tension by bringing all the systems of the body into harmony. The physical practices provide perfect preparation for seated meditation.

Benefits of Yoga and Meditation in Prisons

Inmates:

  • 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 can like, they feel less isolated and encouraged to socialise, which prepares them well for resettlement

Staff:

  • Help manage their stress
  • Become more tolerant
  • Are sharper on the wings
  • Have a chance for some peace and are refuelled for the work ahead.

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Yoga and meditation in a prison cell
Iím trying to do a lot of what is in your book, and itís making a difference. Iím living here, not in the past or future, and Iím sleeping so much better because of that. Iím more caring to others and have signed up to be a listener. That too is gradually bringing me peace.

Richard, HMP Forest Bank

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