Judge teaches yoga for order in his court

Published: Nov. 3, 2015 at 1:11 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 3, 2015 at 2:22 AM EST
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Judge uses yoga to spread positivity (Source: WOIO)
Judge uses yoga to spread positivity (Source: WOIO)
Many of Judge Dawson's yoga students have faced legal trouble (Source: WOIO)
Many of Judge Dawson's yoga students have faced legal trouble (Source: WOIO)

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Judge William Dawson is transforming his East Cleveland courtroom into a yoga class in an effort to stop the violence and start a wave of positivity.

"You can make good decisions. You can control your mind. You can control your actions. This is an opportunity to tap into that ability. Yoga is a tool for mindfulness and that's what we want to promote," Judge Dawson said.

"This is my first time doing yoga ever," said James Scott.

Many of the students in this yoga class have gotten into trouble with the law.

Scott, 20, is on probation, busted for drug possession. He says he's looking to change his ways with the help of meditation.

"You see people killing kids and stuff. They just got no life, no type of sense of humanity. They just aren't thinking. They just aren't living for nothing. Me, I got something to live for," Scott said.

Yoga instructor Christina Iacco is helping out with the hour-long class.

"You're bringing breath into all the areas of your body that actually help you release tension and once you feel that release it comes out in many forms, tears is one of them," Iacco explained.

James said his first yoga class was a lot harder than he thought. He said he wants to bring what he's learned out into the community.

He knows it may be challenging, but having peace of mind and knowing that if he stays on the right track and off the streets, he believes he can make
a difference.

"It helps you out in the real world. It helps you out with decisions that you make. It makes you think before you act," Scott said.

Judge Dawson has been practicing yoga for more than two years. Once he finalizes his certification, he says he plans to host more classes and would like prisoners and police officers to give yoga a try.

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