15 prisoners participate in Art of Living stress management course

Fifteen prisoners housed at the Pointe Blanche House of Detention was recently completed an Art of Living sponsored workshop geared at stress deduction, heal trauma, handling negative emotions in order to live to one’s highest potential and how contribute to society in a positive way.

Art Of Living Foundation designed a special prison programme entitled SMART to make a life-transforming difference in the lives of all people working in, or incarcerated within the criminal justice system. Prison SMART teaches skills that reduce stress, heal trauma, and provides practical knowledge of how to handle negative emotions in order to live to one’s highest potential and contribute to society in a positive way.

The six day programme aims to reduce repeat offenders and end the repeating cycle of violence and abuse that dominates many areas of our society. When troubled or stressed, then individuals react from anger, fear and misguided notions of how one can be happy.

As a result of the programme, participants begin to reduce and manage stress in their lives. They sleep better, think more clearly, and begin to take responsibility for their actions. By handling stressful situations better, they gain confidence in their ability to have self-control and make positive changes in their behaviour.

Course participants report: normalized sleep patterns, reduced depression and anxiety, increased confidence in having self-control, increased energy and clarity of mind, increased resilience to daily stressors of life, decreased interpersonal conflict, decreased engaging in destructive behaviour, improved immunity and physical well-being, freedom from traumatic scars of the past, greater positive outlook on the future, decreased apathy and lethargy.

Prison SMART teaches advanced breathing practices that create dynamic cleansing effects on the body and mind. Participants learn how to use their breath to gain relief from the accumulated effects of stress and negative emotions. The program also teaches practical life skills that enable participants to accept responsibility for their past actions and to handle future conflict and stressful situations successfully. The cornerstone of the program is a breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya. This unique practice transforms overpowering emotions and restores calm and alertness. It becomes a no-cost, self-empowering tool individuals can use anywhere, anytime. The course also includes practical life-skills training to help participants become more aware, and more in-charge, of unhealthy mental habit patterns. 

Prison SMART programs are active in 60 countries with over 300,000 inmates benefited from the program, and continue to grow Internationally.