THE Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. KJ Srinivasa, on Tuesday, facilitated a yoga programme for women inmates of the New Amsterdam Prison.
The session was conducted by founder of the Namaste Yoga Studio and yoga teacher, Agnela Patil, who skillfully led the participants through a series of postures and relaxation techniques.
Meanwhile, the Indian High Commissioner said that, given the benefits to one’s mental and physical well-being, efforts are being made to make yoga popular among the prison population.
“Yoga is the art and science of well-being, which is a traditional practice from India. Over the years, efforts have been made to share yoga with people globally since it is good for not only your mental well-being, but also physical well-being. It helps also in your spiritual upliftment,” he said.
Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot, said in a society where the importance of human rights is acknowledged, the Prison Service has a duty to rehabilitate the people incarcerated, and expose inmates to a variety of programmes to effect positive change in their life.
“The use of yoga in prisons is a promising tactic to help reduce recidivism rates and improve relationships within a prison environment,” Elliot said.
He added: “By helping prisoners to better deal with their restricted surroundings, heal from past traumas, recover from addiction, and increase their emotional intelligence, yoga can be a component in creating better outcomes both for the prisoners personally, and for society as a whole.”
The officer in charge of Prisoners’ Welfare and Corrections, Mrs. Marielle Bristol Grant, participated in the exercise and encouraged the inmates to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them.
She reiterated that she was committed to ensuring that there was a programme of interest to all of the inmates.
The Prison Director expressed gratitude to the visiting team, adding that the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) was looking forward to continued goodwill, friendship and co-operation.
The United Nations, in December 2014, proclaimed June 21, every year, to be International Day of Yoga. The concept of such a day was first proposed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This year is the eighth International Day of Yoga.