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August 13, 2014
About yoga in prison: The ancient practice of yoga is concerned with developing connection between mind, body and breath. It is a wonderful activity for people belonging to all age groups and the best form of exercise that helps in reducing levels of stress and other behavioral or psychological issues effectively. Yoga techniques have ability to bestow positive effect on an individual’s mood, it is also helpful in improving mood and lessening anxiety by increasing brain chemical GABA in higher amount.
This widely followed therapeutic form of physical workout, practiced as an alternative treatment for curing many physical, psychological and behavioral disorders. 124 studies from Duke University researchers confirm that yoga practice is extremely beneficial for people having psychological issues. Especially those behind bars can practice yoga; this will not only help them physically but will also be a useful source to improve their mental conditions and health. If prisoners perform this exercising approach it can help them in turning the place into a calm and serene environment, stopping aggression and reoffending rates. Jail has the most stressful environment and this approach offers convicts to release their mental and physical tensions.
The recent research has proved that yoga postures, regular practice of paranayama breathing and meditation offers number of benefits among prisoners as it can help in improving their mental wellbeing and has a great effect on impulsive behavior patterns too.
An Oxford University study of ten week yoga course suggested that those prisoners who constantly practice these exercises in their regular prison routine showed improvement in mood, reduction in stress levels and provide their best at task associated to behavioral control. Yoga is helpful for them to adjust and cope up with their imprisonment. Most of the prisoners experience loneliness or suffer from varied levels of trauma in their early life like hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, bullying, sexual and drug abuse. These terrifying and horrendous incidents are imprinted on their mind and heart which leads to harsh impact on their life often landing them in jail. Yoga mindfulness practice works as a key tool for people in prison especially in restoring their connection between mind, body and soul. These techniques allow them to feel more stable emotionally and help them in brushing things off from their mind.
According to statistics at present time 2.25 million people that include both men and women are in U.S prison and 60% of released prisoners after their parole or completion of punishment will return within 3 years. For helping them truly it is important to build their lives better and bring a significant change in it. It is necessary to heal and rehabilitate them by giving some therapeutic treatment like yoga because it encourages prisoners to develop their spiritual welfare through correct breathing and meditational processes. Conclusively, it is been proved that yoga is indeed one of the finest therapeutic exercise to date which is very advantageous in controlling behavioral patterns of people living behind the bars as it will not only help in managing the prisoners in cell activities but will also helpful in prevailing less violent and spontaneous behaviors.
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