Liberation Prison Yoga’s mission is to serve prisons and jails, bringing yoga programs to incarcerated individuals and those whose lives are affected by incarceration; to train yoga instructors to work inside the prison system; and the educate the public about trauma-conscious yoga.

To change the system from within

Liberation Prison Yoga seeks to support incarcerated individuals with the tools to survive the stress of pre-trial, prison and re-entry into society to emerge with real world readiness skills through yoga and mindfulness.

Problem:
The U.S. prison system is failing society and the people in it’s care.

The U.S. prison population increased 500% over the last forty years. 

About 70% of people who leave prison are re-incarcerated within three years. 

Recidivism is largely predicated on a cycle of trauma and abuse experienced early in life and long prior to incarceration and further augmented during incarceration.

Solution:
Break the cycle of recidivism through trauma-conscious yoga and meditation.

Mindfulness practices like yoga form part of a holistic approach to changing ingrained behavior patterns resulting from trauma.

Evidence (scientific and testimonial) indicates that mindfulness practices are associated with higher self-awareness, self-esteem, and stress coping—traits we believe are inherent to breaking the cycle of trauma to become empowered from within. 

Liberation Prison Yoga’s unique style of trauma-conscious healing was developed in our search for the most effective way to serve our clients and borne out by several studies of our program. 

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”Malcolm X

Founder and Executive Director Anneke Lucas started creating programs in different facilities in 2011, bringing along yoga teachers, social workers and psychologists, training them to apply the specific trauma conscious approach our teachers share in the prison and jail settings. Each class comprises of yoga and meditation. Liberation Prison Yoga programs may also include discussion, free-flow writing or other healing modalities.

The effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness practices have been amply proven, but few studies have been done inside the prisons. Liberation Prison Yoga, together with the NYC Department of Corrections and the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation, conducted small scale study measuring the effectiveness of the Liberation Prison Yoga program with women at Rikers Island, New York. Improvement was recorded in every area of the study, most significantly in the area of increased self-esteem.