Q: is October too early to start thinking about your Christmas card charity?
A: Not when you’re supporting the Phoenix Prison Trust the UK charity that is dedicated to encouraging prisoners in their spiritual lives through a daily practice of yoga and meditation, working with silence and the breath.
The trust offers personal support to prisoners around the UK and the Republic of Ireland through teaching, workshops, correspondence, books and newsletters – and to prison staff too. We work with people of any faith, or of none, and honour all religions.
The kind of meditation the Trust recommends is silent and breath-based, done while sitting still, focussing attention on the breathing. Yoga is a practice of using the breath, body and attention in a variety of postures and movements to help relieve physical and mental tension by bringing the systems of the body into harmony. It provides perfect preparation for seated meditation.Yoga and meditation as the Trust recommends them can be practiced by people of any faith, and any physical ability.
The trust communicates with all their beneficiaries as individuals and know that many prisoners have multiple and complex needs. The trust provides our books in various languages, as well as for people who can’t read at all, and can recommend yoga practices for people with specific ailments and disabilities.
Our 2018 Christmas cards are now available to buy! They are drawn by a prisoner friend, and the inside is left blank for your message. Each pack of 10 cards costs £5.
Please print off this order form and send it with your payment.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation in Prisons
The benefits of yoga and meditation for prisoners have been researched by Oxford University and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.
- Have reduced impulsiveness
- Feel less angry and aggressive
- Sleep better
- Are less prone to taking drugs
- Are more ready to take up other educational activities
- Develop self discipline and concentration, often for the first time
- Find something in themselves they like. They feel less isolated and more inclined to socialise, which prepares them well for resettlement
- Manage their stress better
- Become more tolerant
- Are sharper on the wings
- Experience some peace and deep relaxation, leaving them refreshed and prepared for their demanding work