Yoke the police

Yoke in the sense of yoga — control. You’ll get it in a second.

This strikes me as one of those stories you’d think you’d hear about more often:

A Indian police chief has adopted a tranquil approach to improve behaviour among his ranks: meditation.

District commissioner Hasmukh Patel is so convinced of the benefits he has introduced the option for his staff to take the time to train in the art with full pay and allowances. Daily yoga is also strongly encouraged.

Patel is responsible for 3,500 officers across six districts in the south of Gujarat – 175 of whom have taken up the offer so far.

How does he drum up interest? They come to him. It only works if it’s a personal choice, “one cannot be forced”, Patel explains from his Surat office, decorated with certificates of meditation excellence.


Yoga, which many regard as an extension of meditation focusing on the body, is also popular among the force. Almost 500 of his officers practice every day and many have become teachers for their peers. Sometimes it needs a little encouragement: “Introducing and sustaining such new ideas like yoga requires leadership efforts. I have to motivate them time and again.”

Police inspector Aniruddh Captain says that Patel introduced him to the idea during a seminar on youth justice. Patel has taken the meditation course and now does yoga five times a week. The 39-year-old has shed a few pounds and feels more flexible, but what about the cognitive benefits? “The energy level remains steady and it helps to control anger. If there is a heavy work load of work I become angry but after doing yoga and meditation I can control my anger.”

I don’t suppose I have to suggest any reasons why we’d want our police to be able to control their anger, do I?

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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