LA
09/25/2013 06:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

These Photos Prove It's Possible To Find Inner Peace Anywhere

California prisons have been under fire for overcrowding and solitary confinement conditions. While prisoners captured headlines recently with a 60-day hunger strike, we found these prisoners capturing our imaginations as they found a way to thrive behind bars.

These aren't the type of prison photos we are used to seeing, but we were inspired by these depictions of grace and beauty as photographer Robert Sturman documented prisoners who have devoted themselves to yoga.

Sturman, who is now 43, participated in his first yoga class at the age of 19 at UC Santa Cruz. In 2011, he was invited by the warden of the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California to attend and photograph the yoga classes at the prison. He also visited San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California and met other prisoners with yoga practices.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
San Quentin State Prison: San Quentin, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

robert sturman
Deuel Vocational Institution: Tracy, Calif.

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