It is no secret the United States has a higher prison population than any first world country out there, and while a criminologist can explain that there is more to it than this simple statistic, there is no questioning this is a problem. There are a variety of different proposed methods to fix this problem. Some suggest decriminalizing non-violent drug offenses, which would keep plenty of people from going to prison to begin with. Others talk about reform programs, but those never seem to get enough state funding. Thanks to the Give Back Yoga Foundation, prisoners might have something new to look forward to.
Taking a hard look at the prison problem in the United States, the Give Back Yoga Foundation has established what they call the Prison Yoga Project. Through this project, they look to instruct both male and female inmates on yoga principles and help them create their own practice. In this effort, the goal is to restore a connection between the mind, body and heart, effectively bringing them peace and helping them to deal with the hardships of prison. The concept is that this sort of rehabilitation can have healing effects and bring the individual into a better mental state. This way, they get out of prison when their time is up and stay out.
The sad reality about most American prisons is that they don’t focus on reforming prisoners. Instead, money just goes into maintaining the status quo. While some individuals might suggest this is because of a state agenda, the reason behind it really doesn’t matter. Currently, prisoners go in, serve there time, and go out. Though there are sometimes opportunities for them to seek reform, there is little in the way of actual effort, leaving most prisoners to deal with the hard reality of life behind bars without any recourse. By the time they get out, the real world is difficult to deal with, especially since most people don’t want to hire an ex-convict. As a result, they end up back behind bars in no time. Many criminologists suggest this doesn’t have to be the case if we put more effort into reform programs like this, people could actually come out better.
According to many health experts, Yoga has plenty of benefits beyond the physical, seemingly supporting the idea of yoga changing lives in prison. In fact, WebMD offers a series of articles on yoga, including the many ways it can help relieve stress. While there are definitely other obstacles that prisoners have to deal with, the concept of using yoga is definitely solid. Of course, the real question is whether or not it will catch on enough to get traction. If it could gain widespread acceptance though, it seems this foundation could really make a difference in the lives of many inmates.