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Silk Road suspect Ross Ulbricht 'teaching yoga' while awaiting trial

Facebook backers: He's rolling out the mat for fellow inmates

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Ross Ulbricht is currently awaiting a trial which will decide whether he's the digital drugs kingpin known as Dread Pirate Roberts, or just some poor (but Bitcoin-rich) bloke who has been wrongfully accused.

Ulbricht is currently facing charges of computer hacking, money laundering, and narcotics conspiracy in relation to the accusation, which he denies.

So it's little wonder that, according to a Facebook page run by his supporters, he is trying to get some inner peace by leading a yoga group. The group is apparently attended by a small group of fellow inmates in the New York federal facility where he currently resides.

He's basing his lessons on the teachings of well-known Iyengar Yoga founder BKS Iyengar, an expert in breath control and posture, and his classes are proving to be a hit, claim the page's owners.

According to a post on the page – which endorses the legal defence fund administered by Kirk Ulbricht – demand his for yoga lessons is on the up.

"Ross is now teaching an impromptu yoga class every evening [sic] in the prison [sic]," the post said. "He had a book by Iyengar outlining a 300 week course and started doing it, in a glassed off room they have, in an area with some rugs.

"He was joined by five other inmates, and the group is slowly growing.

"Leave it to Ross to be constructive and contribute to others wherever he is."

The Facebook page also gave us a glimpse of how a man accused of running a huge drugs market spends his New Year.

"Ross said he celebrated New Year's Eve with some chocolate wafers and at midnight all the inmates clanged the bars," his supporters wrote. "Otherwise, it was pretty much like every other day."

Ulbricht has denied that he had anything to do with underground drug ring Silk Road, which cops smashed last year.

He recently asked the FBI to hand back some of the 173,000 Bitcoins the agents confiscated from him.

In November, Ulbricht's family, friends, and supporters raised $1m to bail him from the New York jail, but Judge Ronald Ellis denied the petition for release. The 29-year-old also faces murder-for-hire charges in a Maryland federal court. ®

U.S. v. Ulbricht, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-mj-2328

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