How rap artist “Neil Patel” is cutting down crime by teaching yoga and meditation to hip-hop fans.

Rap Artist Neil Patel (A.K.A N1) is a London based yoga teacher. His local area in London has recently seen a rise in knife crimes. “‘I hated to see what was happening on the streets” he told THE DAILY MEDITATION.

Witnessing a rise in violent crimes near his home over the past twelve months, Neil Patel (N1) decided to take a stand against it. His solution isn’t the type of thing most rap artists do. He started to combine his love of hip-hop music with yoga and mindfulness to create Hip Hop Breathing, an exercise that combines breathing meditations with hip-hop beats. The goal is to ultimately reduce the number of violent crimes in London and around the world by helping people to be calmer.

N1 is the latest in a line of musicians to take to mindfulness (read: Mindfulness Meditation For Musicians).

N1’s meditation classes are free and he gives them in some of the most violent areas in London. Making his lessons different to anything else I’ve ever seen as a meditation teacher, is that his breathing exercises work to hip-hop music. He is currently working on releasing an album called The Breathe Experience.

N1’s The Breathe Experience will be the first music album ever to combine meditative breathing techniques as a separate track in a hip-hip album. He is hoping that the “Experience” will help to calm the minds of kids growing up in violent areas, which in turn will ultimately reduce crime rates.

Speaking to Metro, N1 said, “From my flat in Kilburn I noted a stark increase in police and local violent crime in the last 12 months. Sirens were wailing all day and night suddenly. ‘I’ve always been a yoga teacher and a rapper, so I used to count yoga breath counts very rhythmically to beats in my head. ‘I decided to make those counts to real beats in order to teach kids involved in knife crime the many benefits of controlled breathing.’

N1 says he knew that there was little chance of most of those kids going to a yoga class, but if he could reach them through hip-hop there might be a chance to positively influence them.

Many of those kids, N1 tells us, were simply “lost and did not have peace and love within themselves… I knew the power of meditation and yoga an breathing exercises so I felt I needed to use my tools to reach them.”

The breathing exercises themselves are very similar to traditional exercises [READ: Best Breathing Meditation Exercises For Beginners].

What makes the “Experience” unique is the fact that those exercises are combined with hip-hop music. “When the breath is slowed down, the mind, cells, blood pressure and nervous activity slow down with it.

N1 doesn’t believe there is any possible quick solution to knife crime, but is optimistic he might be able to steer a few kids in the right direction.

There is scientific research to back this up. Research by Maharishi University Management a direct relationship between meditation and a decline in crime rate in the U.S.  [source]

It’s exciting to see how yoga and meditation are being integrated into pop culture, with the many famous Buddhist celebrities and the sheer number of celebs who advocate meditating. Perhaps hip-hop-mindfulness is the next big thing.

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Written by Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.