The Prison Phoenix Trust believe that everyone deserves a fresh start. We help prisoners with that start by giving them the materials and personal support they need to set up a daily practice of yoga and meditation.
“I’ve been meditating every day, and have found the change marvellous. I’m no longer angry with everybody, or worried about being in here. I am completely at peace, not just with being in prison, but with myself, something I now realise I have never been before.”
From a prisoner, HMP Lewes
We help prisoners by:
• training qualified yoga teachers for prison and helping establish regular classes for prisoners and for staff.
• airing a yoga and meditation class three times per week on National Prison Radio.
• sending free yoga and meditation books and CDs to prisoners who request them.
• writing regular yoga columns for publications such as Inside Time and Women in Prison.
• offering personal support to prisoners’ about their meditation and yoga practice through correspondence.
• producing a quarterly newsletter, mainly featuring prisoners’ letters.
People around the world go to retreats, in conditions not unlike prison, to find out who they really are. Though prisoners have not chosen their circumstances, The Prison Phoenix Trust encourages them to make the best use of their situation for real rehabilitation and supports them in their spiritual lives.
“I am putting into practice your yoga sequence article in the prison newspaper. It has helped me accept my circumstances and calm down. Completing a set routine every night has me sleeping easier. I find it also makes me feel better about myself. I’ve been depressed having lived on the streets since last August. But doing the few exercises has changed my whole outlook, and now I cannot wait for my release date to start my new life, having built up my self pride and esteem.” – From a prisoner, HMP Nottingham
The Trust receives no statutory support, and is entirely dependent on the generosity of people who understand the transformative power of yoga and meditation. Many teachers and practitioners have set up standing orders or direct debits: we’re grateful for their regular giving.
For more information visit www.theppt.org.uk or write to The Prison Phoenix Trust, PO Box 328, Oxford, OX2 7HF
Images by Diana Finn taken at HMP Greenock.