‘Peace Within: Prison Yoga Pilot Programme’

March 13, 2018 | 5 Comments

The Minister of Social Development and Sports Michael Weeks and the Minister of National Security Wayne Caines attended the completion ceremony yesterday for the ‘Peace Within: Prison Yoga Pilot Programme’ at the St. George’s Co-Educational Facility and the Prison Farm Facility.

Running from January 22, to March 12, 2018 the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation worked with yoga instructor Shanell Vaughn to introduce an eight-week pilot programme consisting of two yoga classes per week of trauma-sensitive yoga into the St. George’s Co-Educational Facility and the Prison Farm.

With the help of Vocational Coordinator at Corrections Mrs. Dwanita Grant and Corrections staff, the ‘Peace Within’ programme has introduced yoga to five women and one female officer at the Co-Ed Facility as well as nine men and one male officer at the ‘Right Living House’.

Prison Yoga Programme Bermuda March 2018

Shanell Vaughn, the lead instructor of the pilot programme said she is excited for the future of the programme.

She said, “The ‘Peace Within: Prison Yoga Programme’ is committed to breaking the cycle of individual suffering and to offering people behind bars the opportunity to heal, grow and prepare for their return to our communities through the practice of yoga.

“As part of the pilot’s rehabilitative mission, each class is couched in the yogic principle of ‘ahimsa’ – meaning to do no harm to oneself or others, on or off the mat and many of the participants already report feeling more peaceful, more relaxed and healthier in their bodies.

“It is deeply rewarding for me to witness the eagerness of these men and women to learn, and to support them in discovering that they have the power within themselves to master their own mind, body and emotions through the peaceful practice of yoga.”

Prison Yoga Programme Bermuda March 2018 2

The Minister of Social Development and Sports Michael Weeks said, “For many of the participants this is the first time they’ve ever tried yoga and I understand that all of the inmates involved expressed hope that the programme would be extended beyond the eight week window.

“I am very grateful to the dedicated staff at the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for their ingenuity to facilitate this truly inspiring pilot programme.”

The Minister of National Security Wayne Caines, congratulated the successful inmates. He also commended the Department of Corrections and the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for their positive and successful partnership.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Nicky says:

    Great initiative!

  2. St.David's says:

    Fantastic

  3. Oh,I see now says:

    Giving ministers a photo op and inmates another piece of paper to throw in the drawer is all that was.Real change involves an attitude overhaul ,somthing most inmates.short and long term are not ready to do.

  4. Kim Smith says:

    It is important for this programme to continue. Results will not come overnight but they will come with the opportunity to develop commitment and practice. Please don’t truncate this beneficial remedy.

  5. Bedford Bridges says:

    Wow, Shanell! This is great – I’m glad this is happening!

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