Many Inmates we work with at the Travis County Correctional Complex (TCCC) have been incarcerated due to their actions from suffering through their own mental and physical abuse. Once they are in prison, these individuals must face actions and continue suffering largely alone in the most challenging of environments. Through the Prison Yoga Program we aim to establish connections with these men and women who have been physically severed from the larger community, and welcome them into — at the very least — the yoga community. By sharing the discipline of yoga with them, they are offered a tool that will help them to break cycles of violence, addiction, and negative thinking. We hope to support them in their efforts to improve their lives; in turn, as inspired members of the community, they will inevitably improve ours.
We provide eight classes per week to both men and women in the regular and maximum security facilities at TCCC. Through our work, communities among these men and women have formed and many of the students continue their practice after they are released.
For the more advanced classes, our teachers may offer a round-robin style with each person sharing the role of the teacher. Men and women are learning to move past their insecurities and embrace positive leadership roles. Through our work, compassionate communities have formed among these men and women and have grown beyond the TCCC — reaching out into other correctional facilities and back into our own neighborhoods.
I have used some of these techniques to help me overcome my alcohol addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic and it is so helpful for me to come to yoga class. Thank you for coming here and doing this.
– Inmate at Travis County Correctional Center