Doing a stretch: how yoga is cutting stress in South African prisons

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A maximum security jail in Cape Town is one of nine seeing positive results from a mindfulness programme, reports Bhekisisa

Raeez Safar sits in a grassy courtyard, his eyes closed as he lifts his hands to his face. The sleeves of his white top fall past his wrists, revealing a small, neat gang tattoo of the number “26”.

Safar is one of more than 250 South African prisoners who regularly do yoga. He says it helps him cope with incarceration at Pollsmoor, one of the country’s most notorious prisons. “Yoga makes me feel positive about life. It has helped me to deal with the stress of prison life,” he says.

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