Prison and probation staff offered yoga at work

The third online yoga classes being made available to all prison and probation staff takes place on Wednesday 17th November – with a focus on yoga for stability during changing times.

The sessions, which include yoga and meditation, are being provided free by the Prison Phoenix Trust. In 40 minutes, staff will learn some simple movements and breath practices that can be done sitting or standing – even at a desk.

“It’s yoga for everyone – you don’t need a yoga mat; you don’t need to be flexible or be able to touch your toes!” said The Prison Phoenix Trust director Selina Sasse.

The live online session is being held using Microsoft Teams 12.15-13.00. Prisons can make the most of the classes by screening them in a suitable room on the iPad and probation staff can log in from their work computers. Sessions will be recorded so they can also be accessed at another more convenient time or at home.

What prison staff said last time

“Thank you for a very calming session” 

“Thank you very much. It was a lovely class and break from work.” 

“Thank you very much I really enjoyed this. Is it possible to get a recording to do everyday?” 

Practicalities

The Governor or probation Head of Team should identify a suitably qualified person to complete a risk assessment. In prisons this could be a Health & Safety Advisor or member of the PE Team. The factors to be considered as part of the risk assessment are included in the HMPPS Yoga Guidance, details below.

Contact us for HMPPS Yoga Guidance and links to classes

Staff wellbeing is an important priority for prisons that are still coping with staff absent through illness of self-isolating. A confidential survey of prison officers in May found high levels of anxiety and burnout. Read more here.

Yoga classes – for both staff and prisoners – had been severely hampered by Covid-19 restrictions over the last 18 months – but prisons are beginning to open up again to visiting yoga teachers with around 60 in-person yoga classes available for staff and prisoners in October.