Sunday, January 25, 2004

You are sentenced to yoga

Yoga sentence judge: 'Each case is different'

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Judge Larry Standley is known for his creative sentences. In a recent case, Standley ordered a man convicted of slapping his wife to take a yoga class as part of his one-year probation.

Now I find this sentence as amusing as the next guy, but I would also defend its validity. I?m not a yogi by any means either. Yoga was just one part of the sentence, as was a more traditional anger management counseling. One might argue that the judge is imposing his new age values on the defendant. He is putting him into the classes even though there are plenty of skeptics who doubt their usefulness. The problem with this attitude is that it fails to realize this is the case with all punishments. Traditional anger counseling is far from perfect, but people are still given it because it seems to help more than it hurts. The same could easily be said for yoga. The only real difference is that yoga is less western and less common here (though by no means unheard of either). Besides, he only has to go once a week anyway. If he doesn?t like it he can always enjoy watching everyone trying to get into awkward positions.


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