Episode 3: Yoga | KALW

Episode 3: Yoga

Nov 18, 2019

Gordon Melvin learned how to do yoga by watching TV. Soon, he was leading classes on the yard. Today, we’re talking about vulnerability, masculinity, and what it takes to put your ass in the air.

Gordon was attracted to a life of dope and drink. He was violent with others, and himself. He started watching Priscilla Patrick, the yoga guru on PBS. You’d think that would help, but he was violent with yoga too, practicing it in a violent manner in his cell.

Uncuffed producer Spoon Jackson talked to him about how he turned away from violence to become a yoga teacher.

"I still got involved in a couple more riots. And then in 2006, one morning I was done. I was so disgusted with myself. It was either change, or kill myself."
Gordon Melvin, post-incarceration, with friends at a Narcotics Anonymous convention.
Credit Courtesy Gordon Melvin

The interview with Gordon Melvin was first published on March 11, 2019 with the headline “Yoga Is An Equalizer At Solano Prison.”

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KALW’s radio training program in California prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. All content is approved by a prison information officer.