Cana Communities offer a program to inmates in the Parklea Compulsory Drug Treatment Correction Centre. The program has various stages that the men progress through as they transition back into the community.
During 2018 I took yoga to the inside for the stage two participants who were not yet progressed to the stage where they could come out into the community. This meant checking in through security in the Centre and being escorted to the separate section where the men who had progressed to this stage were allowed to come and practice in a group. The wonderful Julie Sneddon facilitated the first session as I got to know the men, and they got to know me. Pretty soon, I was on my own and visiting weekly for a one hour session of yoga and guided iRest® meditation.
This year (2020), the tables were turned. The men who had progressed to stage three, where they get to come out into the community, weren’t able to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, I’ve been live streaming in to offer these men some contact with the outside world, albeit digital. Once a week we connect online to do some breath and movement and guided iRest meditation.
I find the men in this program really eager for these simple practices to help soothe their nervous systems. I would say they are probably some of the most engaged students that I have!