Yoga is an equalizer at Solano Prison | KALW

Yoga is an equalizer at Solano Prison

Mar 11, 2019

From the series Uncuffed:

Gordon Melvin, a Canadian imprisoned in California, learned how to do yoga by watching TV. Soon, he was leading classes on the yard.

Melvin 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.

Gordon Melvin with interviewer Spoon Jackson at Solano State Prison.
Credit Steve Drown

"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."

We talked about how he turned away from violence to become a yoga teacher.

Uncuffed is produced by men at Solano State Prison. Learn more about them here.

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