Teaching Yoga for inmates has been shown to drastically reduce rates of reincarceration all over the world.
Most people turn to criminal acts or violence and even drug addiction a recent study shows, because of only one reason. Disconnection. They were unsupported in some way, treated badly, or felt lack in fulfillment of their basic human needs. It's an easy response to such conditions to shut down emotionally, to protect from further emotional suffering. However...this numbing of our heart's compass leads people to be able to commit unfortunate deeds with little or no remose, complicating their karma, and further isolating themselves from support networks.
It's sad too, but in many modern countries the prison system is also a mutli billion dollar industry, in which large corporations influence the political and legislation system, push laws that make it easier to detain or imprison people for more and more things which means they can build more and more prisons. Inmates are also employed for the pathetic wage of nearly 1-4$ per day which means more big profits for the industry selling their work even to companies like Starbucks, Boeing, and Victoria's Secret. See how much nonsense we stop supporting when we buy small industry, locally crafted products? This practice is also a threat to other established and emmerging industries where people could lose their jobs as they go to the cheaper labor of prison inmates.
Yoga has had such great effect to keep people out of prison because it reconnects them to themselves. Our emotional and physical bodies are very connected, and when one starts to move the body through the challenges of practices, we ellicit emotional responses... but we do it without the external trigger which cause those emotions. By persistent practice, we gain understanding and mastery over those situations which caused the emotions and are able to direct our lives with compassion and empathy. All people are our brothers and sisters and where and when we can, we should provide them the connection that heals old hurts and brings a brighter future.
When I have time I go to teach AcroYoga to the inmates on Koh Samui. I have to teach in my limited Thai language and we get by! A few other of my friends who teach have also been and many of the students there have really taken to the practice. AcroYoga is especially amazing because it brings even more that element of human connection that gives the human spirit strength.
Silavadee is a classic sea side 5 resort on Koh Samui island, Thailand. It has a private beach and each room has a private pool. The rooms are all solid wood and have high pitched roofs. They have a rustic feel while being immaculate and spacious, including a very large bathroom and circular jacuzzi tub. It's a beautiful place.
My home and small yoga hall is right across the street and I recently had some private yoga sessions in Silavadee with two students from Moscow who had been practicing Iyengar yoga for the last 2 years. They were very enthusiastic practitioners and we made daily morning and evening sessions. I got to learn a few Russian words and had the pleasure of seeing a few breakthroughs in their practice. Some of the techniques I shared were new for them and we also worked the simple classic poses to their potential, holding until we couldn't, whether it be Warrior III or the meditation posture at the end of each class after pranayama.
If you are staying at Silavadee or just on Koh Samui, you could make your vacation a great way to start yoga or enrich your practice with my classes to get more context, knowledge, and techniques for yoga and wellness. I've been teaching Yoga for over 7 years now and my work has been with all kinds of people. I've worked with thousands of beginners, people looking for how to lose weight and get fit again at detox fasting retreats, children of all ages, people from nearly every major religious background, christians, muslims, jews, buddhist, and taoist...people in their 60's and 70's of age with decreased mobility. I've also trained teachers and other adept practitioners...You can learn ways to expand your perception of your life, improve the health and functionality of your body through smart training with yoga anatomy knowledge, access new poses and ways of being, and how to relax and meditate more simply. It's never too late!
You can book or inquire about a session of Sajeeva Yoga with George at the Baan Geom page. Have a great time on Koh Samui and maybe see you for some sun and yoga! Look at these beautiful rooms at Silavadee Pool Resort. It's a magical place for practicing with the sunrise or under the stars on those decks.
George is the founder of Sajeeva Yoga School, and a practitioner and teacher on the journey of exploring life, truth, purpose, and
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