It has been a great pleasure to introduce yoga to the male prison inmates at the Corradino Correctional Facility as a part of the ‘Behaviour and Skills Management course. The programme, which the Fondazzjoni Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl organised, aimed to help participants increase their ability to manage their behaviour.
With the cooperation of all, I successfully delivered the planned sessions. It wasn’t easy, and I had to offer modified/alternative postures. Some participants had physical restrictions, mainly due to fatigue after a day’s work and injuries incurred during the other physical activities of the course.
In general, the participants responded positively to the sessions, whereby I witnessed the most dedicated yogi and the most transformed one. I was pretty impressed with the participants’ good behaviour and attitude. Without a doubt, I firmly believe that a good rapport was established between the participants and myself.
Some inmates had even requested to continue attending the yoga sessions and even asked permission to have a yoga mat in their cell.
Being aware that this has been a three-month pilot project, I can only express my views about how yoga can be beneficial if it continues to be included as part of a rehabilitation project.
Yoga is like medicine, and once stopped, its effects will diminish. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-transformation. To be successful, as is happening in other overseas prisons, the practice has to be ongoing.