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Originally published January 8 2011

New juvenile delinquent rehab program may soon include yoga, tai chi

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Barry Holman, interim deputy director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), has come up with a new approach to overcome the agency's current flailing system: yoga. According to a recent report in the Washington Examiner, Holman has petitioned his staff members for help in finding someone to teach D.C.'s troubled youth the "mind-body" techniques he believe may help them.

"It was an exercise on my part to see what other qualities, besides the professional qualities, that they can bring to the job," explained Holman to the Examiner about his idea.

Temporarily fulfilling the position after the departure of four previously unsuccessful DYRS directors in 2010, Holman inherited a rehabilitation program with a very poor track record. Besides the numerous murders involving facility wards, the program was actually implicated in causing a surge in violence among youth. Something needed to change, so Holman made his proposal.

"We're always looking at expanding our offerings," he is quoted as saying. "The benefits of yoga or tai-chi are no different for youth in a correction facility than for anyone else." And his plan could work, as it just might provide troubled youth with the physical and mental stimulation they need to stay out of prison.

Yoga has also been shown to alleviate depression and improve mental health, reduce stress, boost heart function, and reduce inflammation, among other things. These factors together have the potential not only to improve the mental stability of troubled youth, but also improve their overall physical health, in conjunction with standard rehabilitation protocols.

Holman is also investigating other programs that might be of interest to the youth that will provide them with a constructive outlet for their overall rehabilitation.

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