Prisoners take a nasty turn after yoga trial backfires
Friday 05 August 2005
The sessions were introduced on a trial basis earlier this year for eight prisoners at the high-security Ringerike prison, home to some of the country's most dangerous criminals, in a bid to help them keep their anger in check. But instead of calming them down, the specialised breathing and meditation involved in yoga served to wind them up, explained the prison director Sigbjörn Hagen.
"The reactions we received from the prisoners who participated in the classes were very varied, ranging from completely positive to completely negative," he wrote in a letter addressed to the group in charge of the yoga project.
On the negative side, Mr Hagen said, learning the ancient Indian routine - designed to harmonise mind, body and spirit - had provoked "strong reactions: agitation, aggression, irritability, trouble sleeping and mental confusion".
Staff at Ringerike say the deep-breathing exercises - an integral part of yoga - made some of the prisoners more dangerous by unblocking their psychological barriers and unleashing otherwise repressed emotions, such as anger, irritation or depression.
The prison has decided to stop the pilot scheme altogether, saying it does not have the resources to provide treatment for increasingly troubled inmates.
The yoga group behind the project professed surprise, insisting that the techniques had been tested on about 100,000 prisoners in 15 countries and had been judged a great success.
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...