Yoga, at least the kind that comprises the Dahn Yoga basics, is as much a community experience as it is an individual journey. But what if an individual lives in relative isolation, removed from society because of their misdeeds? Even in prison, yoga appears to improve lives.
A few inmates at the San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California, have been engaging in regular yoga sessions, which they said have been helping them find peace and adopt a positive outlook, according to the Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch.
Instructor James Fox told the news source that his classes are a part of the Insight Prison Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to help convicts – many of them “lifers,” serving out permanent sentences – become more serene and responsible.
He has been leading yoga sessions in the penitentiary since 2002.
“Most people are disconnected from their emotional selves. They don’t understand their emotions and can’t express themselves in a skillful way,” he said, adding that this situation can be deleterious to mental and physical health.
Yoga may undo some of that harm. Several studies have indicated that yoga can help inmates relax and gain a better perspective of themselves and their lives.