Yoga To Reduce Jail Time
Yoga, the Indian art of exercise and meditation, can strengthen muscles, improve concentration and increase a sense of spiritual well-being, its practitioners claim. Now it can also get you out of jail.
Prison officials in Madhya Pradesh, in central India, have launched a new scheme which will grant inmates reductions on their sentences if they complete a three-month course.
For every three months each prisoner spends performing sun salutations, down dog stretches, pranayam heavy breathing exercises and chanting "Om", his or her release date will be brought forward by 36 days.
According to prison officials at Gwalior Jail, 400 prisoners are now taking part in the scheme, and 68 inmates are already set to have their sentences reduced. The prison authorities believe yoga will not only improve their fitness, but make them calmer, less violent and more positive when they are finally released. One prisoner said his anger had subsided since he began practicing yoga, and that he planned to teach the discipline after his release.
"We are running yoga classes in many jails. The basic objective to practice yoga in jails is to help the inmates to master the art, bust the stress, anger management and to keep them fit.
"We offer remission of sentence to prisoners who admit themselves for educational courses and yoga will be covered in the remission," said Sanjay Mani, Inspector-General of Prisons, Madhya Pradesh.
For those thinking of scaling the walls or tunneling to freedom, the fastest escape will now be from the lotus position.