Yoga for inmates.

Image with permission from Robert Sturnman

Yoga for Inmates  Episode # 18 .

It seemed to me that men, women and children living in the prison system may benefit from  the practice of yoga asana, meditation and pranayama.  So I went on a journey to find out about teaching yoga in prisons. I had the pleasure of speaking to  four guests about their personal experiences.

The intrigue in this topic started at the Yoga Therapy Conference in Melbourne in 2012. While listening to Janet Lowndes talking about  the beginning of her career as a young psychologist, who was given the task of talking to men in prison about anger management.
I thought, wow how intimidating for a young women! (Janet Loundes is an experienced psychological counsellor and yoga therapist in Melbourne.) I asked her if she thought YOGA would be of value to people incarcerated. She agreed as did Annette Loudon who shared her brief experience of teaching men yoga in this setting. The audience of some 100 people where asked if they had experience  teaching yoga in prisons and only one person raised their hand and told of how they  applied to a prison, but had not been able to secure the opportunity.

From putting together this 4 part episode I  know there are quite a few dedicated yoga teachers doing this work. For those seeking the opportunity to be invloved you will find some great insights from our 4 guests. I hope you find these interviews interesting and inspiring.

  • Rob Thomaes,  Founder of 2 Moksha studios – Canada – Coming Soon
  • Adhyatma – Founder of the Yoga Education in Prisons Trust – New ZealandComing Soon


This is what I asked them:
  • Why did you choose to take this path?
  • Are you currently teaching yoga in the prison setting?
  • How long have you taught yoga in this setting?
  • What was the most profound aspect of teaching in the prison setting?
  • What advice do you have for other yoga teachers interested in doing this work?
  • Is it an intimidating environment to go into?
  • How did you go about getting permission to teach in the prison?
  • Have you any success stories to share?
  • What hurdles have you encountered?
  • Was your service free or funded?

Yoga in Prisons – Resources Galore

I got soooo immersed in the resources available on this subject. If you’re interested in stories and studies on how yoga can help reduce recidivism check out these resources.

Adhyatma - Co Founder of Yoga Education in Prisons Trust

Adhyatma – Co Founder of Yoga Education in Prisons Trust

James Fox – Founder of The Yoga Prison Project – San Quentin Prison CA – If you would like to buy his book go HERE

Rob Thomaes Founder of 2 Moksha studios – London, Canada

Adhyatma – Founder of the Yoga Education in Prisons Trust – New Zealand

Louise Avery of Awakening Yoga in Melbourne – Australia


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