Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yoga offered in some Texas prisons? Say it aint so..

From our friends over the Grits for Breakfast Blog......

Yoga in Texas prisons limited by religion

Brandi Grissom at the Tribune has an interesting piece up on volunteer-led yoga offerings at TDCJ, but this bit stuck out at me: "the criminal justice department classifies yoga as a religious offering ... so at some prison units, only inmates who identify themselves as practitioners of Eastern religions like Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism are allowed to attend."

That's pretty silly. In 21st century America, yoga has become utterly secularized and only a small percentage of those practicing it are adherents of Eastern religions. From the research I've seen, yoga and meditation have positive effects on in-prison behavior and recidivism, so limiting participation by one's declared religion to me seems like a counterproductive choice by TDCJ.


  1. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    YOGA - A Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain control and well-being. A system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being".

    THIESTIC (theism) - belief in the existence of a god or gods.

    PHILOSOPHY - an overall vision of or attitude towards life and the purpose of life.

    It would seem from the strictist definition that Yoga could be considered a religion, but with many things that becomes Westernized I think the definition has changed to satisfied our needs. Yoga is no more than high-brow exercise for people who usually are too fat for their tights. Walk into a gym and call a bunch of Yentas Hindu worshipers and see how fast their lawyers will come after you.

    I guess we should consider the Billy Blanks Team Taebo video and Jillian Michaels Exercise video religions as well. As usual our leadership has dropped the ball. Ball? Anything in Texas where you bounce or throw a ball is considered a religion.

  2. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

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