Yoga Gaining Popularity in South African Prisons

Cape Town volunteer organisation SevaUnite introduced yoga at Pollsmoor six years ago. Today, prisoners in nine correctional facilities nationwide are part of the programme

Go to the profile of Heather Mason
Oct 10, 2016
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https://www.theguardian.com/…/doing-a-stretch-how-yoga-is-c…

It is wonderful to be able to share with you that more than 250 South African prisoners are now regularly doing yoga :) In this fascinating article, the growing practice of yoga in South African prisons. alongside yoga's benefits for this specific population, are explored.

Cape Town volunteer organisation SevaUnite introduced yoga at Pollsmoor six years ago. Today, prisoners in nine correctional facilities nationwide are part of the programme. One prisoner who is part of the program explains, 'Yoga makes me feel positive about life. It has helped me to deal with the stress of prison life'.

Officials at South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services see yoga as part of an integrated approach to mental health, says a spokesman, Manelisi Wolela. “Most offenders taking yoga classes have attested the programme provides them with the opportunity to learn to accept themselves the way they are, to deal with stressful situations in a calm manner and to avoid negative thinking. Many of them are now less aggressive and have seen improvements in their health and wellbeing,” he explains.

We hope you enjoy reading this article as much as we did. Namaste.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS

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