Yoga is Helping the Prisoner Population

Yoga is Helping the Prisoner Population

Sarahjoy Marsh, MA, E-RYT 500, certified yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and author, is a vibrant, compassionate catalyst for transformation. Clear-hearted and sensitive toward those that suffer from addictions – in particular disordered eating patterns and body image issues, and for those living with anxiety, depression, and trauma, Sarahjoy ignites a person’s confidence in themselves as capable of traversing the challenges and joys of awakening from suffering. Through her work with addiction and recovery, as well as her decades of commitment to working with those whose lives have been impacted by marginalization (poverty, prejudice, lack of access to resources such as education, health care, or mental health support), she has created an accessible library of tools that develop the life skills people need to re-create health (both physical and mental); to internalize their sense of worth, belonging, and capacity; and to thrive emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. While fundamentally informed by the teachings of yoga, Sarahjoy also masterfully integrates her training in Western therapy and mental health, interpersonal counseling, neurobiology, reciprocal muscle inhibition, and kinesiology. She has an unwavering belief in people’s innate goodness and their capacity to re-awaken to their potential. 


Sarahjoy has a Masters in Counseling and has been training yoga teachers, yoga outreach volunteers, and mental health providers, including clinical psychologists and socials workers, in the tools of yoga therapy for 20 years. She is a student and scholar of yoga with 22 years of professional teaching experience and 25 years of yogic study. From her extensive background, Sarahjoy created “amrita yoga”, a form of vinyasa yoga that integrates Ayurveda, physical therapy, neuroscience, yoga philosophy and psychology, pranayama, and mindfulness.


Yoga Therapy – uses the skills of yoga (Stretching, Poses, Meditation, etc.), the psychology of yoga to help a person on the journey to wholeness and healing. Yoga therapy is a 1×1 relationship, whereas traditional Yoga can sometimes be group sessions, etc.

The practice of Yoga addresses the brain, the heart and the mind.


In this episode Sarahjoy shares:


  • Sarahjoy’s beginning as an art therapist
  • How a backpacking trip changed her career forever
  • How she used yoga to work with a group of female prisoners
  • Why she began to teach yoga to the prisoners so they could learn to teach yoga
  • The study on the effects of yoga on the prisoners lives, even after they are released
  • Amrita Yoga – vinyasa yoga combined with neuroscience and Ayurveda
  • How yoga can change your brain state
  • Why there are specific classes targeted towards people with eating disorders
  • How yoga is being prescribed by doctors to address certain ailments
  • Why Sarahjoy’s community provides medical scholarships for yoga
  • Her international travel yoga excursions and social volunteering
  • Questions to ask a yoga studio before you go to a class



Are you a member of Weight Loss Nation? Visit Sarahjoy’s online support meetings on Thursday’s at 11am ET, 8am PST.

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By | 2017-01-17T19:37:26-08:00 May 28th, 2016|Podcast, Yoga|0 Comments

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