I) Foundations.

A) The Isha Foundation
Among its many social outreach projects, Isha Foundation provides yoga to prisons around the world. Their programs have met with great success. This website has a multitude of testimonials that confirm the transformative power of yoga for prisoners.

B) Sidha Yoga
Sidha Yoga has been providing prison yoga since 1979. Consequently, they are an established organization, employing 150 trained volunteer program coordinators. On the website, there is substantial information for those interested in giving funds to assist them in their efforts.

C) Dharma Prison Network
Founded in 1989 by prisoner Fleet Maull, The Dharma Prison Network focus their efforts in three main areas: education and training for prison volunteers and correctional staff, peacemaking training and leadership for prisoners, and weekly inside programs at the Boulder County Jail and the Colorado maximum security facility for juveniles.

D) The Human Kindness
Together Bo Lozoff and Ram Dass founded the Prison Ashram Project in 1973. Lozoff runs the Human Kindness Houses in N.C. is well known for his “prisoner bible,” We’re All Doing Time. Today they continue to provide free copies of this book to prisoners, among other services.


II) Benefits of doing Yoga in prison


A) Yoga Magazine
Published in the November 1999 issue of Yoga Magazine, this article explains that yoga is now widely understood to be effective in altering the criminal personality. The author explains what factors create this personality, what factors of prison settings perpetuate it, and what can be done to help it to heal. In addition, the article documents the improvements that were witnessed internationally following the arrival of yoga in a given prison.

B) Yoga Kailua
This is paper on yoga prison work done in Hawaii in 2002 by the yoga school of Kailua. Here the approach is explained in detail; aside from asanas, there is a great deal of time devoted to the teaching of yogic philosophy within a class discussion format.

C) Newsday
Published in the July 11, 2004 edition of Newsday, this article provides a brief look at one prisoner who acts as a yoga facilitator in his own prison.

III) Special Populations

A) Women

1) Alternative Magazine
A lengthy first hand account by a prison instructor. It offers an intimate view into her class and the lives of the woman with whom she works.

2) IYT Yoga Therapy
Geared specifically toward yoga teachers, this is a detailed “recipe” for a women’s class.

B) At- Risk and Incarcerated Youth Programs

1) Dragon Fly Media
Intimate, detailed account of yoga with incarcerated youth.