Individuals who are incarcerated likely experience trauma or exacerbate existing trauma, which has significant health risks. Trauma-informed care aims to address the experienced trauma. The current study explored the effect of a trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness curriculum in carceral settings. In this quasi-experimental study, participants (n = 326) were assigned to either six weekly sessions of 60-minute group trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness or a waitlist control condition. Stress and mood were measured pre- and postclass, whereas coping, emotional awareness, emotional regulation, anxiety, anger management, compassion, self-compassion, forgiveness, and posttraumatic growth were measured pre- and postcurriculum. The trauma-informed group showed a significant increase in mood and decrease in stress after participation in class. Participants were more likely to use positive coping skills, experienced greater levels of forgiveness, and were more likely to experience posttraumatic growth after completing programming as compared to a control group. Qualitative data highlighted perceived improvements in mood, physical health, communication with peers, coping with anxiety and anger, focus and self-control, optimism, acceptance, and open-mindedness. The qualitative data also demonstrated the importance of supportive relationships outside of participants’ peers (i.e., instructors). Outcomes suggest benefit of a trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness curriculum in aiding people who are incarcerated in supporting mental and physical well-being and building resilience.

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