Can Yoga Reduce Crime?

Recent studies in correctional facilities have shown positive effects yoga has on inmates. Yoga can improve mood and mental well-being among prisoners, a new study suggests, and may also have an effect on impulsive behavior.

Policeman and Man With Money

Yoga Improves Overall Behavior:

The researchers found that prisoners after a yoga course reported improved mood, reduced stress and were better at a task related to behavior control than those who continued in their normal prison routine.

While some people who are diagnosed with certain emotional or psychological disorders may need to take anxiety medication.

Yoga and Crime:

When you think of a stereotypical criminal, someone who does Yoga just doesn’t spring to mind.

We think of criminals as being angry, or at least very active, while Yogi are seen as calm and sedentary.

Yoga Breathing Calms The Mind:

It has been established through research that those who breathe properly through regular meditation experience a higher level of emotional stability than those who do not practice good breathing techniques.

So, instead of fretting all day long, we can all try to go back to the basics of how to put in more air into our system.

Air is life and proper breathing is definitely the way to have more of it.

Really the two are so far apart that it’s hard to consider that someone who regularly undertakes Yoga classes could ever become a criminal.

Perhaps Yoga should become compulsory to fight the crime rate?

Here’s why:

Yoga classes begin with a simple standing exercise – the exercise is this: Breathe.

You can spend a significant part of a Yoga class concentrating on the simple action of taking a deep breath, breathing it in and feeling it’s life giving force extend to all the far reaches of the body, and then exhaling it just as deeply and completely.

This simple act of concentrating of breathing has an unparalleled ability to focus our mental concentration.

It allows us to clear away unwanted or disturbing thoughts and restore ourselves to a central balance.

Keep Calm and Do Yoga:

The calming and focusing benefits of a Yoga breathing exercise can, quickly and easily clear away the types of distractions and temptations that can lead to a criminal act, at least an impulsive one.

Imagine the potential of that on habitual criminals – the ability to take a moment before committing a crime, focus their thoughts and realize that it is not the best course of action and should be avoided.

Yoga May Reduce Domestic Violence:

Most domestic violence is a direct result of too much stress and strain in a relationship.

Statistics show that the arguments that lead to an incident of domestic violence are almost always of the ‘little things’.

The final straw being a little thing rather than a big important issue.

Let’s insert the ability to calm ourselves, sharpen our mind and rationalize into that situation.

Domestic Violence can be a result of people ‘snapping’.

People doing yoga

Do Yoga and Keep Calm:

Emptying the mind and calming oneself would mean that people never got to that point.

Other forms of violent crime are similar to domestic violence – they occur when tension rises up over time until one person snaps and throws a punch or pulls a knife.

With the right self-calming tools at their disposal these criminals would be far less likely to offend.

The Yoga Alternative:

Of course, all that assumes that the criminal does not want to commit a crime and only does so due to a failure to see an alternative when a certain set of circumstances present themselves.

They are hungry and can take a loaf of bread so they do, or they feel threatened, unappreciated or disrespected and see striking out as the only options.

Yoga would not benefit the kind of calculating mind that makes a career of criminal activities because each crime is carefully premeditated.

Meditating Man

Or would it?

Most people know of the physical side and have at least heard of the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga, but few know that the exercises that form the basis of Yoga are only the Western Worlds interpretation of Yoga.

Traditionally Indian Yoga includes an entire philosophy on how to treat each other and live our lives.

If criminals also followed this component of Yoga it would be possible to see crime reduce.

One can only hope.


Final Analysis:

I Personally believe yoga will help people with their overall issues, whether that be anxious or stressed out.

The results for the crime rate are encouraging.

A yoga program needs to be explored and rolled out to all departments of the correctional institutions worldwide.

A troubled person can begin a yoga practice with meditation being a part of their routine.

The outcome may have lifelong benefits to the recipient.

It is not necessarily the magic bullet to cure all.

Definitely a step in the right direction.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.

I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.


Namaste Shane.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.



2 thoughts on “Can Yoga Reduce Crime?”

  1. I personally enjoy doing Yoga as I find it to be a stress reliever, and it helps me with my concentration. I am more efficient, productive because of Yoga.

    What are your thoughts about having mandatory Yoga classes in correctional facilities as well as for the cases of domestic violence? Do you think it will help reduce violence in our society? I believe that it would help tremendously as part of the solution to reduce violent behavior in our world.

    • Hello Sonia, 

      Appreciate you taking the time to read my post. 

      Great question you have asked me. 

      My personal opinion would be to offer yoga classes In all correctional facilities.

      Making It mandatory is a hard one to know, not sure if it would work. It Is difficult to know if it would be of benefit to people not wholeheartedly in to yoga.

      Namaste Shane.



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