Continuing Isha Foundation’s ongoing commitment to bring well-being to prisoners, Sadhguru interacted with inmates of prisons across Tamil Nadu in a one-hour live session recently. The interaction was organized by Sunil Kumar Singh, DGP, Tamil Nadu Prison Department.
Sadhguru spoke about icons like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela who used their prison terms for inner transformation and made lasting contributions to humanity. Stressing on the futility of resisting the inevitable, Sadhguru said that prisoners must work towards creating a joyful state within themselves regardless of external circumstances. For this, one must understand the basics of the mind, said Sadhguru.
“Whatever you say you don’t want, will happen in your mind. Do not decide what you don’t want. Decide what you want,” he urged his listeners and demonstrated the mechanics of the mind by involving them in a short experiment. “For the next 10 seconds, do not think of monkeys. Give it a try. Can you do it? Your mind is full of monkeys, isn’t it? Your mind is not doing what you want it to do. If you say, ’I don’t want monkeys,’ it will think only of monkeys.” Isha’s Yogic practices are designed to bring inner balance and harmony and gain mastery over body, mind, emotions and energy.
Sadhguru answered several questions from the prisoners mostly related to mental well-being and dealing with crippling negative emotions such as fear, loneliness, guilt, shame and anger. Sadhguru encouraged daily practice of Isha Kriya and other modules that will help them recover from psychological trauma.
In response to the DGP’s question on how to make it easier for prisoners to find employment once they complete their term, Sadhguru suggested speaking with industry leaders to introduce a process that would make it easier for former inmates to find mainstream
In a heartwarming Deepavali message to prisoners, Sadhguru said “You are not with your family. But, I am with you. There is always a place in my heart for you.” He offered the best resources and programs of Isha Foundation to help them. “Make good use of the time you spend in prison,” he said adding, “No one can fix what happened yesterday. We can create what needs to happen tomorrow.”
Isha trained Yoga teachers conducted online Yoga sessions for a total of 8165 male prisoners, 3453 female prisoners and 3971 prison staff during the pandemic. The sessions were held at the request of the State Prison Department. Isha has been conducting Yoga sessions, specially designed by Sadhguru for prisoners, for over two decades in Tamil Nadu prisons. Since the start of Inner Freedom for the Imprisoned programs in 1992, Isha Foundation has received thousands of poems penned by once hardened criminals to share their experience of yoga.