Prison yoga made inmates restive and disturbed

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. 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 practice yoga every day now, and credit it with keeping me sane and supple.

"The reactions we received from the prisoners who participated in the classes were very varied, ranging from completely positive to completely negative," Mr Hagen reportedly wrote in a letter to the group.

On the negative side, the yoga had provoked "strong reactions: agitation, aggression, irritability, trouble sleeping and mental confusion", he said.


(Image: Yoga Baby, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike image from Autumn's Flickr stream)