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Yoga Behind Bars

October 13, 2017

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly, DOC Communications)

Incarcerated individuals in the Washington State Department of Corrections’ custody have various programs available in the correctional facilities. A relatively new one is yoga. Yoga Behind Bars, a Seattle based non-profit organization, visits eight of the department’s twelve facilities.

Yoga Behind Bars, which started in 2008, has approximately 40 volunteers that travel to state correctional facilities. Programs like yoga, aid in supporting people’s ability to grow and change, a core value of the agency.

Yoga classes at the Monroe Correctional Complex meet twice a week. Classes at the facilities regularly have 25 to 30 students with some classes even having waiting lists. Yoga is offered to all custody classifications from minimum to maximum custody and there is even a mindfulness program in segregation. To better serve the population, thirteen inmates have become certified yoga instructors.