Liberation Prison Yoga – Bringing Yoga to America’s Jails


Prison life has gotten more attention in the last few years, particularly due to the influence of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” Yoga Jones would be proud, as the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga is bringing yoga to prisons across America.

Bringing Yoga Into Prison

Liberation Prison Yoga was founded in 2014 by Anneke Lucas. Lucas was born in 1963 in Belgium. As a child, she became a victim of an organized sex trade ring. As a young woman, Lucas discovered yoga and meditation at Paramahansa YogYogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship. She decided to bring yoga to those in need.

She felt that convicts in America were the people who most needed her help, and Liberation Prison Yoga helped her do that.

The Organization

Liberation Prison Yoga is a program that teaches” “trauma-informed”d” yoga to men and women incarcerated in prison, with the hope of improving their quality of life both inside and after they are released.

Teachers are taught” “trauma-informed yo”a” to help them teach yoga in the most gentle, sensitive manner possible. The emphasis is on the human connection, and any aspects of yoga that could alienate students, such as the use of Sanskrit or the spiritual aspect of yoga, are excluded from the class.

Enjoying the Benefits

According to an article in Sutra Journal, Luc”s “witnessed moments that were incredibly beautiful”l.” Sisn’tn’t able to spend much time with the inmates, but she does her best to assist them while she can.

She continued to say”, “Students have reported feeling that they are changing because of groups. They were able to create space for feelings and, as a consequence, could muster up the will to stop using drugs, which, of course, is available inside. [!in!] Prisoners taking part in a Yoga class at San Quentin

The organization’s Facebook pages are a great way to bring their work home. The stories, similar to Humans of New York, give you a real face of people in the prison system.

LucLucas’rk is beautiful. She and 23 other teachers want to bring peace to America. Prisoners, who are often invisible to the public, have finally found peace and well-being through yoga.

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