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Since May this year, the Vidya Sagar Institute of Mental Health has been holding yoga classes for their inmates. So far, the initiative seems to be progressing well. Every morning, a group of 40 to 45 inmates will gather and assemble in the hall for their classes. During the one hour class, the inmates can be seen enthusiastically following their instructor’s directions and giving yoga their best effort. The institute have hopes that through daily yoga routine, it can assist the inmates to reduce their dependence on medications.


Patanjali Yog Samiti is providing an instructor to the institute for free. Furthermore, classes are held six days a week. “The inmates are intelligent and pick up the asanas very quickly. Now, they know the names and the order of the asanas that we practice every day. So if I skip any or change the order, they are quick to point it out,” said Satishwar Dass Mehra, the yoga instructor.

Satishwar teaches them various yoga asanas such as Hasya Pranayama, Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom and other workouts for the legs, hand, feet and eyes. “Thanks to yoga, the blockages of their veins are removed and blood circulation increases. During the class, I make it a point to take everyone’s name since it makes them feel that I am having an individual interaction with them. When they laugh really heartily, it makes me feel very nice,” explained Satishwar.

The inmates who have been taking the yoga classes have turned into role models for others. At the same time, they are also motivating the rest to join in the class as well. With the total number of participants increasing every day, the authorities are now planning to shift the class to a bigger hall in order to accommodate everyone. “A similar initiative was taken five years ago, which was attended by more than 100 inmates. Then the instructor left and we had to suspend the classes.  We re-started from May and ever since the number has gone up. We ensure that those patients who are medically fit should attend the class so that they can take benefit out of this,” stated Dr BL Goel, director of the institute.

This is yet another example of the benefits of yoga. No matter what your condition or fitness level is, yoga has something to offer you. For yoga classes in Singapore, check out OMG Yoga. We offer various types of yoga classes including Restorative Yoga and Therapy Yoga for individuals who are on the path of recovery.

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