During my travels in 2016, I was fortunate to spend two weeks at Purple Valley, a magical yoga retreat in Goa, India. On one of our movie nights at Purple Valley, we watched the documentary: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana. It shows a breakthrough in prison reform in 1993 when Kiran Bedi strove to turn Tihar Jail in New Delhi, notorious for its inhuman conditions and one of the largest high-security prison complexes in the world, into a peaceful ashram.
Karma yoga, or selfless service, is one of the paths of yoga and is the yoga of action. It is performing every action, both on and off the mat, in totality, with complete presence, authenticity and love, without any expectation to receive anything in return. It is a powerful way to transform ourselves, to break out of the cycle of likes and dislikes: the cycle of attachment that leads to suffering.
When I heard about Josefin being in a Swedish prison, i thought that can’t be right, not our sweet bollywood dancing energy power house. Then I found out more and it all made sense, Josefin is taking yoga to the prisoners. I love to see yoga used in these inspiring ways and I had to ask her to tell us about it.
I met Josefin a few years ago and was taken by her joy of life and enthusiasm for using dance and yoga to help people in unfortunate circumstances. With my new column up and running I thought it was a great opportunity to share with you some of the inspirational work that is happening. India has been Josefin’s second home for the past 20 years where she has dedicated her time to learn yoga and dance her passions in life. She discovered the happiness and freedom in the practice, seeing the effects from yoga in people from all different paths of life she decided to start teaching in 2005.