Yoga in the Prisons

Prosperity Paths Newsletter Number 14 January 1996
By S.S. Soul Singh Khalsa--Phoenix, Arizona

The sound of a steel door slams shut. I show my picture ID. I advance through more doors until I’m in the very heart of the unit. I sit and wait. A shackled man comes and sits opposite me. He looks me in the eye and tells me--that if it weren’t for the yoga and meditation, he would have killed somebody in the prison by now.

I nod, I know that it’s true. One of the real joys of our Dharma is the opportunity to give someone else the experience of their own soul; that look in their eyes that tells you that something unfathomable has registered deep in to the psyche. Teaching in the prisons gives so many of these experiences.

This week one of the inmates that came to the class told me that, "Over four years ago, another inmate had taught him a little Kundalini Yoga. And on the strength of that experience, he changed his religion preference to Sikh and had waited ever since to meet a Kundalini Yoga teacher.

Prison is like that. In some ways there are no distractions. The "my-ness" that Guru Nanak decried is largely gone. No family, no house, no real income--what you have in abundance is time. Time to become a better crook or time to become a holy man. Guru Nanak said, "Conquer your mind and you conquer the world." Some inmates are learning that by working on the mind they are becoming free.

Copyright © 1998 by Rick Ross

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