Last week the Yogangster team were invited along to HMP Brixton to talk to National Prison Radio about yoga and we jumped at the chance to get involved. The benefits of yoga are something that Goldie can talk about for days so he and our resident instructor Kelly Isaac were honored to be able to share their views and skills with the radio team at Brixton.
After being escorted through the gates and secured inside Goldie spent an hour being interviewed by inmates who work on the radio station. This is the worlds first national radio station, made by prisoners, for prisoners. Brixton is a category C prison and the team got the impression it was extremely well organised with great opportunities for inmates to develop new skills as part of their rehabilitation.
The interview touched on topics from yoga to music, to art to crime - naturally. What was overwhelmingly obvious was that the guys who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law were courteous, inquisitive and receptive. They talked about the mental stress of being incarcerated and that fact that 24% of inmates have grown up in the care system, as Goldie did, a number that is just too high to suggest that the system itself needs anything other than reform.
After the interview, Kelly led the radio team through a breath, yoga and meditation practice. The guys got on their mats, found their breath, worked hard and certainly got a sweat on! Goldie joined the session but was regularly jumping off his mat to offer assistance, keen to show the guys that they could do it, as we all can.
We hope this is the first of many opportunities Yogangster has to share the benefits of yoga, not just in prisons, but in schools, hospitals, the street and everyday life!
To find out more about National Prison Radio and the amazing work they're doing you can visit their website - National Prison Radio