Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keep yoga out of prisons!

That's the gist:
A Norwegian prison has suspended yoga classes for prisoners because the intense emotions evoked by the exercises caused the inmates to become restive and violent.
Cory Doctorow comments:
I kinda get this: when I started doing yoga, I would sometimes get into a pose and experience a great upwelling of sadness or anger and have a vivid flash of some past unpleasant experience. The yogic explanation is that the memory is "stored in your muscle," something I treat as allegorical (along with all the business about chakras, prana, etc).

I've heard of this too, from close friends as well as elsewhere. But in over two years of ashtanga, I've never experienced it. I wonder how common it is, but I guess it doesn't have to be too common if it makes even a few inmates restive and violent. Namaste.
Prison yoga made inmates restive and disturbed - Boing Boing

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Bill said...

Hahhahah! I have a certain phrase that comes to mind...

designdemocracy said...

You must be one bendy bastard, Clay. I'm thinking that the prisoners would experience those questionable and potentially violent reactions when holding a pose not intended for boy parts. Y'all aren't built for bending.

Bill said...

btw, that last comment would be from my wife :)


Clay Spinuzzi said...

Oh, you Hart-Davidsons.

Sadly, I have approximately the same level of flexibility as a Ken doll. But after two years, I am getting better. I'm still pretty astounded at what some of the more advanced students can get themselves into.

At my previous studio, the females outnumbered the males by a huge margin. But at the new studio, the ratio is 50-50 or perhaps a little weighted to the male side. Very different vibe. One woman at the old studio pointed out to me that Ashtanga was designed by males for males, and that once you get a certain degree of flexibility, it's much easier for males to advance in the practice than females. I have no idea whether that's true, but I'm far, far away from that tipping point!