This field report provides a rationale for the potential of yoga to support reductions in stress and substance use among people returning to the community from jail or prison and describes an agency-based example of yoga classes offered in this context. People who have recently experienced incarceration face a multitude of stressors, which can heighten the risk of substance use and support the need to address stress reduction as a pathway to reduced substance use. One promising intervention is yoga, which has demonstrated significant stress-reduction effects among several populations. Feedback from participants in this field report’s practice example reinforces the potential for yoga to decrease stress and complement substance use treatment in supporting health during the transition from incarceration to community return. Further scholarship is needed to explore the benefits and limitations of yoga in this context.
Alexandra S. Wimberly PhD, Malitta Engstrom, PhD, LCSW
Journal of Correctional Health Care, October 25, 2017