Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Management


Susan Ross


corrections, meditation, prison, recreation therapy, spirituality, yoga

Subject Areas

Health sciences; Recreation and tourism; Spirituality


The purpose of this research was to analyze a recreation therapy yoga meditation intervention, the Sanatana Yoga Prison Project (SYPP), at a California state prison. The SYPP had three interventions: pranayama (breathing techniques), asana (physical postures), and dhyana (meditation). The research question was, "What are the outcomes of a recreation therapy yoga meditation intervention on prison inmates' spiritual well-being?" This study used a mixed-method approach that included a modified Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS), demographic data sheet, and semi-structured interviews that were face-to-face and audio-recorded. There were 31 participants in the control group and 31 participants in the experimental group. Spiritual Wellbeing (SWB) scores were analyzed using the SWBS manual and SPSS 20. The results indicated significant difference between the groups. That is, the experiment group scored high on SWB compared to the control group that scored moderate on SWB. Ten interviews from the experimental group were analyzed using an existential-phenomenological approach. Two overarching categories emerged with four themes each: (a) concrete outcomes with themes of physical benefits, escape, quieting the mind, and reflection, and (b) psychospiritual development outcomes with themes of epiphany, connection to self and others, psychological and behavioral change, and coping skills.