Prisoners Reap Mental Rewards of Yoga

Posted by juggernautPT on October 08, 2013

Prisoners Reap Mental Rewards of Yoga
Prisoners Reap Mental Rewards of Yoga

Research from the UK has found that yoga can serve to improve mental health and mood in prisoners.

 

After prisoners underwent a ten-week yoga course, a team from Oxford University found that they reported reduced stress levels and improved mood and exhibited better behaviour control than fellow inmates who did not undergo the yoga course.

Study leaders Dr Amy Bilderbeck and Dr Miguel Farias, from the Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry at Oxford University, said; 'We found that the group that did the yoga course showed an improvement in positive mood, a decrease in stress and greater accuracy in a computer test of impulsivity and attention. The suggestion is that yoga is helpful for these prisoners.'

Previous studies have found yoga to have these beneficial effects in other settings, but this was first trial to record the effects in the prison environment, which has much higher rates of mental health problems, aggression and personal distress.

Bilderbeck added: 'This was only a preliminary study, but nothing has been done like this before. Offering yoga sessions in prisons is cheap, much cheaper than other mental health interventions. If yoga has any effect on addressing mental health problems in prisons, it could save significant amounts of public money.'

 

 

Source: Journal of Psychiatric Research


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