Yoga in Prisons

CSP yoga group shot

Incarceration and recidivism rates are at record high levels. This has a huge impact on the lives of the victim, offender and community involved, and costs California just under 9 billion dollars each year.  Studies reported in The International Journal of Yoga Therapy (2008) reveal that re-incarceration rates significantly declined from 67.5% to 25.3% for participants who attended regular yoga/meditation classes.

 

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CSP Solano:  Following the APPLY Graduation, we now support and teach 25+ classes each month; this is definitely one way to make prison yoga sustainable and empower peer leaders.  The Sangha (community) includes men of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds; they come together under the same goal to connect and support each other authentically within the unpredictable prison environment. CSP Solano was the location for the pilot APPLY program, the impact has already surpassed our expectations, and the success of the curriculum shows promise to reproduce similar results across California!

 

 

CSP Sacramento (New OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFolsom): Our program focuses on sharing Yoga’s non-violent Philosophy, known as Ahimsa, along with an active yoga practice. We offer several classes each week to provide a non-violent community group that is a safe haven to the men in this maximum-security prison.  At New Folsom, we offer classes and workshops on the maximum security yard, and Minimum Support Facility (MSF), in addition we plan to introduce the APPLY program this summer!

 

 

 

 

Read about one YSC staff experience working with the incarcerated during the APPLY program.

Read more about our work in prisons:
http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/health-fitness/article2598152.html
http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2014/03/california-state-prison-solano-helps-calm-inmates-through-yoga/
http://www.dailyrepublic.com/news/vacaville/yoga-helps-inmates-find-focus-peace/

“Yoga and its emphasis on the power of a single breath has promoted for a me a respect for life and a profound realization of the destructive force of violence.”
– Prison Yoga Student

“My yoga practice has become a necessity for me. I’ve learned to check myself when I feel like I’m getting anxious or stressing, take deep breaths and bring myself into a calmer state and back to the present.”
– Prison Yoga Student