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The Prison Project

The Prison Project facilitates the dissemination of the Siddha Yoga teachings to incarcerated seekers across the globe. The Prison Project is a department in the SYDA Foundation; its main office is located at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland, California.

Under Gurumayi Chidvilasananda’s guidance, the Prison Project has touched the lives of tens of thousands of incarcerated seekers, their friends and families, and prison professionals throughout the world.

On January 15, 1975, Baba Muktananda held the first Siddha Yoga satsang in prison for 200 inmates at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida.

In 1979, Baba Muktananda formally organized the Prison Project at a conference held in the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland. Also in 1979, at Baba’s instruction, the Prison Project began to provide the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course at no cost to incarcerated students who request enrollment in the course.

This continues to be the key function of the Prison Project. Students receive monthly lessons, which are available in French, German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Five thousand students in over fifteen hundred prisons in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia are currently enrolled in the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course.

In addition to studying the Home Study Course, students in prison have the opportunity to attend satsang. Over one hundred trained Siddha Yogis offer seva as satsang facilitators, conducting satsangs in prisons worldwide.

You can support the work of the Prison Project in a variety of ways:

  • Become a trained satsang facilitator and conduct satsangs for incarcerated seekers in your local state or federal prison.
  • Become a trained correspondent who answers sadhana questions and supports students’ study of the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course.
  • Make a material donation of books, Darshan magazines, CDs, DVDs, and pictures.
  • Offer seva in Prison Project offices across the globe. The main office is located at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland, California. Offices from which local seva is coordinated are located in Montreal, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; London, England; Turin, Italy; and Melbourne, Australia.

For further information, including information about how to offer seva in your local prisons or Prison Project office, please contact the Prison Project:

Phone: 510-898-2700, ext. 4113
Email: PrisonProject@syda.org