Fresh Living

Indian Prison YogaThe “freedom” people talk about attaining through yoga is now completely literal, with a program in India that lets inmates out a little sooner if they develop a regular yoga practice. As gleaned from Boing Boing, every three months of yoga training reduces a prisoner’s sentence by 15 days in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. 

According to a BBC article, about 4,000 inmates are involved and many go on to actually teach yoga.

“The state’s inspector general of prisons, Sanjay Mane, said: ‘Yoga is good for maintaining fitness, calming the behaviour, controlling anger and reducing stress. ‘When a prisoner attends yoga sessions and fulfils some other conditions, he will be considered for a remission if his jail superintendent recommends his case.'”

One inmate said yoga helps him reduce “angry thoughts.”

“‘It was these thoughts that made me commit crimes,’ he said. ‘I hope that after we are released, we can use what we have learned and promote yoga in society so that people no longer commit crime.'”

So cool, right? I have no illusions that sun salutes will turn a psychopath sane, but actual–and deep–rehabilitation for prisoners is something that makes so much sense it constantly blows my mind that we barely do it in this country.

And I also love the reminder that if we can globally heal angry thoughts through simple measures, this world would be so very different. Because that is the root of it, right? Angry and fearful thoughts = the source of most evil. Ommmm.  

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