“Yoga”- the ancient body of knowledge from India provides the most effective practical aids for improvements in life. A means to achieve synchronization of body, mind and soul Yoga is for sure a holistic approach to health and well-being. But it is nonetheless a path towards mindfulness. It has the incredible potential to radically transform and help one transcend and since the inception of 21st June as International Yoga Day by the United Nations, a drive has sprawled across the globe cementing ‘Yoga’ as a medium of wellness.
It’s well known fact that negativity and stress are ubiquitous in life within prisons and addressing such emotional turmoil is imperative for prisoners if they are to be reformed and Yoga since times immemorial has been known to aid in development of healthy minds, minds that are capable of creating a better world
Thus Antarkranti, too wholeheartedly embraced the platform and integrated Yoga as one of the principal transformational tool in its endeavor to reform prisoners. As a result of its revamped focus on Yoga, Antarkranti launched the initiative of “Yog in Prisons” in 2015, and since then has successfully organized and conducted numerous Yog Shivirs in various jails all across the country not only during the celebrations of IYD but also round the year .
In 2017, under the 3rd edition of ‘Yog in Prisons’, Antarkranti successfully organized Yoga Day sessions in the following 7 prisons of India:
· Central Prison Varanasi
· District Jail Kurukshetra
· District Jail Jagadhari
· District Jail Karnal
· District Jail Anoopgadh
· District Jail Raising Nagar
· Balamandira Bengaluru
The sessions started with various warming up activities, followed by teaching of various Yogasans, and pranayams by DJJS preachers. Pranayama plays a vital role in balancing the breathing and the physical body and yog helps in balancing the spiritual self and soul which together suggests an inside out reformation of the inmates. The yogabhyas was followed by interactive sessions wherein the preachers eloquently explained the actual meaning of Yog. Yog literally means union , union of mind with the consciousness and asans & pranayams are just some stages of Yoga . This union of mind with consiousness is the only way to raise the mind and direct the influx of thoughts from lower dwellings to higher levels of existence.Mind when comes in contact with the soul consiousness is purified by the purity of soul.The mind then attains a state of perpetual stability , an equilibrium. The preachers also encouraged the inmates to devote sometime every day to practice of Yoga as it would not only ensure their physical well-being but also a healthy mind which would deter them from indulging in negative thinking. . At various places like District Jail Kurukshetra and District Jail Jagadhari the Yoga sessions were succeeded by Tree Plantation Drives
With every passing year, Antarkranti has been able to impact more and more prisoners across different jails in the country. Not only Antarkranti has managed to organize and conduct the Yoga events on a much wider scale with every passing year, but also the enthusiasm of the prisoners towards Yoga seems to be tremendously escalating which is really heartening.
To sum it up these sessions attended by around 6500 prisoners, as a whole sprinkled optimism and sprightliness in the environment and in lives of the inmates.