With the help of two remarkable men who have survived years in solitary confinement, Solitary Watch recently published a special supplement to our newsletter, featuring guides to yoga and meditation written for people in solitary, by people in solitary.
The yoga guide, written by John Jay Powers, shares excerpts from Powers’ complete guidebook Yoga in 7 Easy Lessons, containing written tutorials accompanied by original illustrations. Powers compiled into one book his years of yoga training and knowledge, initially sparked in a solitary cell at USP Lewisburg in Pennsylvania when a friend gave him a book on yoga, and continued through years in extreme isolation at ADX Florence federal supermax. Now being held in the maximum-security USP Florence, Powers credits yoga with saving his life while he endured more than a decade of solitary confinement.
Engaging his twelve years of Siddha Yoga guidance, Jeremy Abha Guidry authored the meditation guide exclusively for the Solitary Watch newsletter and leads readers through the intricate steps to dedicated meditation. Currently incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Guidry conveys the power of meditation for people in solitary, speaking from his own experience. “Having witnessed the results of solitary firsthand,” Guidry writes, “I can honestly say that the effort one puts into meditation may not only save your sanity, it could very well save your life,” a reality Powers describes with his practice of yoga as well.
The yoga and meditation guide was sent, along with the latest edition of our print newsletter, to the approximately 5,000 people in solitary confinement on Solitary Watch’s mailing list. We encourage others with incarcerated loved ones and friends to download, print, and send it by clicking on the image above or clicking here. —Valerie Kiebala