27 Sept 07

Yoga Classes?

Seeing a group of guards gather outside of my cell I feared I had been targeted for a cell search.
“Jon, we have a question for you.”
“OK,” I said, wondering what trouble I was in.
“If we can get a yoga class going for the Yard 1 prisoners would you be willing to teach it?”
“Absolutely, I’ve already been teaching yoga to some of the guys, and more guys are asking to join.”
“We’re gonna put in a proposal for a yoga class and there’d be a turn out for you to teach it in a room off Yard 1.”
“Great! The rec room we’re using now has no air conditioning.”
“And you’re not supposed to be using that room anyway.”
“Well, some guards say it’s OK, and some guards boot us out.”
“Also, we know you’re going home soon, so who do you think would be good to take over when you’re gone?”
Iron Man. I’ve been teaching him for months, but you’d have to ask him yourselves.”
“Well, we’re gonna put this proposal in 'cause we feel yoga will do the guys some good.”
“It’s a positive thing. I’d love to teach it. I just hope the idea gets approved.”
“Alright, thanks, Jon.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

it's fun to read and know that your stay at jail also has positive repercussions for the other people inside.

First a lot of books for the library, then helping others with classes,etc... and now yoga for everyone who wnts to learn!!

great, keep up the good work, and it's almost over, keep your hopes high

greetings and salutations


Anonymous said...

Excellent Jon. Congrats on the proposal! -Jose in San Diego

Lady Arkles said...

Now that would be a hell of a legacy!

Jon, you have led by example and have handled your time with dignity and patience. But more than that, you have exacted positive change on the people and regime around you.

I am so proud of you.

Rachel x

PS You may be interested in Sunny Jacob's story. She was sentenced to death in Florida, subsequently had that overturned - but survived mentally intact by practising yoga in her cell. She has even written a book for prisoners who want to do the same.

Anonymous said...


I hope that this email finds you well.
Having just read your entire blog, I wanted to express my appreciation of your dedication to your cause. I spent two years at Folsom State Prison in California several years back for a white-collar crime that I am ashamed to say I committed. I kept a fairly complete journal of my experiences and it serves as a great reminder of injustice in this country. I don't believe that I was treated particularly badly, in fact, many would say I got off easy. The penal system here is a lop-sided, unethical amalgamation of Dante's Inferno, Animal Farm and Groupthink.
I look forward to your book and hope that it is well-received here and abroad

Eureka, Ca

Anonymous said...

I hope it comes off. Good to know that some positiveness can prevail.