It’s been a long time since I posted about teaching yoga at the jail – and its mainly because since I started this blog the yoga has been on a hiatus. Now officially for 2 weeks I have restarted the yoga program. It had dwindled to 3 women and I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the “non” yoga stuff I was doing for the women and their children while we were on a break. I had been debating if I should continue with the program. Or if I should get some help.
I felt reluctant and did not really “want” to go today. I was greeted with the customary smiles and hellos. With warmth and genuine happiness. It always recharges my battery, and I had brought new mats today for women who had said that they would join last week. But based on the last few weeks I did not expect much, in fact I thought that the mats would go to waste.
And something happened today, suddenly my class went from 3 to 10 women, and as the class continued more women came to join. Even if it was for just today’s class, something shifted, I felt it as I taught the women the Tai Chi inspired warm up from Yandara, and then simple sun salutations. But it is always the moment after we get out of shavasana and we all sit with our hands in prayer as we close the class that I feel that connection – that connection to them and to God, to the earth, wind, water and sky. It is as if in that one moment we are all the same, yet many bodies breathing and thinking . Sometimes I get this same feeling after teaching my regular classes, but the connection with the women at the jail is special. It is this desire to access freedom from within, to liberate in a way that inspires, moves and lifts me outside of myself. I know it is their strength, their incredible compassion that I feel at the end of the class. And in so many ways their gratitude. And we just return and lift that gratitude to the one who deserves it, who allows me the chance to give, and through giving receive so much more.
10 women today, let’s see how next week goes. Flowing with the intention that these women will begin their own practice, continue it wherever they go, and always remember the power of their breathe and prayer to access hope, freedom and love.
PS – It’s been a year since I started teaching yoga at the jail!