ANU research shows prisoners benefitting from yoga

A study authored by three Australian National University (ANU) researchers have reportedly concluded that some Australian Capital Territory prisoners who participated in the yoga program “attained statistically and clinically significant benefit from the program, demonstrated by improvements in their levels of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, goal-direction, negative affect, and non-acceptance”. This recently published study in the “International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology” further inferred: They also reported improved flexibility, sleep and relaxation, pain reduction, and identified improvements in their mental well-being, commenting that the program made them feel “calm” and “at peace.” 

The researchers are “advocating for the expansion of such programs in Australian prisons”. Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization.

According to a report of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Yoga is the most popular complementary health approach in the United States – used by 14.3% of the adult population, or 35.2 million people”. According to US National Institutes of Health; yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress. Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche. ANU in Canberra, established in 1946 has hosted several Nobel laureates, and claims to be “a world-leading centre for research, education and policy engagement” with Brian P. Schmidt as the Vice-Chancellor.

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