International Day of Yoga 2019: How Yoga is giving prisoners new directions in life

When prison inmates do yoga, meditation, and Sudarshan Kriya, they experience freedom, are able to forget the past and develop a positive approach to the future.

Prisoners performing Yoga
Prisoners performing Yoga

By Sujata Singh

People who practice yoga have stronger will power, peaceful mind and healthy body as compare to others and it also has a great impact on our own busy lives like relaxation, energy, and improved confidence and calm are just some of the benefits. There are so many people in our society who could get these benefits from yoga, but one group of people is in particular need. Ie People behind the bars.

When prison inmates do yoga, meditation, and Sudarshan Kriya, they experience freedom, are able to forget the past and develop a positive approach to the future. When prisoners practice yoga, their mind becomes calm, they feel a sense of freedom and understand the value of right & wrong for self as well as society.

Why think about people who are criminals, murderer, antisocial, who is in jail for punishment? Fact is these people need more help of yogis because somehow they are victims of unwanted situations, they are miserable, they need attention in their lives. Researchers say these people are going through a high level of stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, guilt, that’s why they choose the wrong direction of life.

Fifth World Yoga Day
Yoga being performed by prisoners as it helps is improving lifestyle.

Countries like USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, nowadays in India Yoga for Prisoner is getting popular. Yoga is an essential part of modern life. Through my background of yoga & clinical psychology. I am going to share some views about the benefits of yoga for prisoners.

1) STRESS MANAGEMENT: Yoga is the best way to reduce stress and mind relaxation. Stress-free mind can think positive about self and society as well

2) HEALING AND RECOVERY: Yoga is a path of recovery and healing- Yoga really helps them to recover fast from trauma, anxiety, anger, etc., and become normal as others

3) SELF AWARENESS: Yoga helps these people to understand the value of self . A person who has a sense of self -awareness can create a good society and environment

4) MINDFULNESS: Yoga can work as a medicine, blessing for them which can make them understand how to move towards the right direction in life.

Some yoga practices highly recommended for prisoners by me: Anuloma viloma – To be aware of the sense of breathe.
Bhramari (bee breathing ) – to create relaxation hormones in the brain.

Ohm chanting – ohm chanting one of the best techniques to cleanses your mind and environment around us. To create positive energies around them.

And apart from these, we can make them do some Asansa – Pawan muktasna Series, Sunsalutation, Tadasna, Cobra pose, Vajrasana to release physical tensions.

Basically, yoga gives them a sense of non-violence, self -discipline, character building and many psychological benefits like – behavior modification, mental wellbeing. We should encourage yoga for them to give them a new direction of life.

(The author is a Yoga and Meditation expert. Views expressed are personal.)

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