TO REDUCE violence in Mzansi prisons, try yoga!This is what has been done at this prison in the Free State. Groenpunt Prison, well known for its gang violence, has introduced yoga.It is being assisted by the International Association for Human Values.About 78 inmates underwent the five-day programme.According to the association’s Rakhee Devchand, the Sudharshan Kriya, which means deep rhythmic breathing, fought against emotions like anger, guilt and mistrust.Such emotions translate into violence, aggression and crime. The exercise leads to more relaxed, calmer and peaceful emotions.Indian spiritual leader Ravi Shankar said: “Inside every culprit there’s a victim crying for help. “That person is also a victim of ignorance, small-mindedness and lack of awareness.”He said it was stress, bad view of life, lack of understanding and bad communication that led to violence in society.Inmate Katleho Tobias, who is serving 12 years, told Daily Sun: “I attended five classes and I no longer have anger. “I do yoga every morning at about 4am. “I will be a yoga instructor soon and I’d like to offer the same help to people who have anger issues like I used to.” The programme plans to expand to Pollsmoor Prison in the coming months.Over 700 000 inmates around the world and 10 500 in South Africa have done the course.
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