Last December I visited a state prison in Northern California (Deuel Vocational Institute) and not only had the opportunity to teach yoga to inmates but also to talk with them afterwards about their yoga practices. It was an incredibly profound and humbling experience. To a man they were articulate, eloquent and astute. In terms of their depth of understanding of the potency of yoga practice, it was way beyond what I read in most of the yoga blogs on-line these days. They were freedom yogis, practising to find liberation behind bars. Imagine how confronting and challenging -- and how meaningful and transformative -- it would be to show up to your yoga mat every day if you were in jail for life.
One of the geniuses of yoga it that it also helps us get clearer about
what we value in the rest of our lives through the opportunity it gives
for self study (svadhyaya). Sustained practice over time leads
to greater self-awareness because of the meditative aspects of the
practice. Yoga is designed to make us more connected to ourselves, more
aware of our tendencies and better able to witness our thoughts,
emotions, sensations and feelings without reacting to them.
Source - Huffpost