Share Your Practice: What’s your involvement in yoga service?
Human Kindness Foundation: Since the early 70s, our Prison-Ashram Project has been encouraging people who are incarcerated to practice yoga and meditation. Our book, We’re All Doing Time, has a brief but powerful section of yoga practices, with illustrated instruction, so that people who don’t have access to a teacher can do yoga.
SYP: Describe a rewarding situation from your yoga service work:
HKF: Recently, HKF’s staff (Sita and Catherine) have been offering just a few minutes of yoga practice during a Mindfulness group in a maximum security prison. We are limited by a crowded room and strict rules on what is “appropriate” behavior, so we only do standing poses. The men in the group love the practice! Some have said that practicing yoga is the only time they feel any sense of quiet and ability to focus. We focus on breathing: simply raising and lowering our arms with the breathe is calming for these men whose lives are full of stress and negativity.
SYP: What practical advice or resources would you share with others who’d like to get involved in similar work?
HKF: This prison volunteer guide has some helpful information for anyone who wants to begin working inside a prison or jail. (If the link doesn’t work, find it on our website, under “links.”)
SYP: Thanks for sharing your insight in this interview and all the best with your work!