Prison Program at Brandvlei Maximum Security, 20-24 January 2020                 

Total number of participating inmates: 16
Teachers: Rafal and Jacqui

100% of the inmates reported very positive experiences from the course and have committed to continue the breathing practices. They recognise the value it has brought to their mental and physical wellbeing. They took to the techniques easily, were very disciplined in their practice and grasped the knowledge well.

The major changes reported during the feedback following the course were: feeling significantly more calm and relaxed; improved sleep (including an immediate full night of sleep which is challenging in the maximum security setting); improved flexibility; a change in mindset; being able to better handle anger, emotions, and stress; self-control and a reduction in aggressiveness, hatred, anxiety, depression and fear; purity of mind and positivity; more focus and being less judgmental of others; increased self-confidence and respect for the other inmates; inspiration to take action and more responsibility; and an overall sense of lightness and peace of mind.

One inmate commented that he felt the course would be instrumental to anyone facing stress and challenges in their lives, and that if he had completed the course prior to being arrested, he would have been able to make better and more informed decisions, which would have prevented him going to prison in the first place. Another inmate felt that his emotions were more stable following the course, that he could think clearer before making decisions with the ability to absorb pressure without breaking down.

100% of the inmates felt that they would recommend the course to other offenders and some had already inspired others to do the course simply by practicing the techniques in their cells and their own personal growth. It was also suggested that the course would not only benefit every inmate at the prison, but also the prison staff, and their own families. Some reported that ‘everyone wants to join the course now’.

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