Anusara Yoga has transformed my life and I knew from the moment I took my first class with my teacher Patricia Berger, Anusara Inspired Teacher--whom I give credit for starting me on the path of Anusara Yoga and leading me to Karen Sprute-Frankovich,Certified Anusara Teacher that the kids in Juvenile Detention, whom I have worked with for years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate would benefit from this beautiful, alignment based, grace immersing Yoga.
I remember how I felt as I did the cd's at home before her class, tight, scared, heart frozen and really trapped inside a body that I've been fighting with for more years than I have not been fighting with it. Years that have taken their toll on my metabolism, my self esteem, my everything. Listening to her the first day--as she talked lovingly about the body and how we must honor ourselves and the place that we are right now in our life, and accept where we are without judgement softened my heart a little and after a couple of weeks of class and her amazing theme's it was as if the dams broke loose and for the first time I was there in myself as myself--not hiding, not making excuses, but there holding my hand and walking down the path of Yoga.
I distinctly remember talking to a family of my kids---as a CASA worker you have the responsibility of taking a microscope to the most broken children's lives and dissecting what is best for them, and then letting everyone involved know what you are thinking--you are their voice in court--and believe me these kids have a lot to say, and when you peel the first layer back--there is more pain and suffering there than words written by me could express. Even when I felt like I was helping them understand, I never felt like it made a difference and the cycle of pain in their lives would continue---that's when it hit me---Anusara Yoga pulled me out of myself so that I could become myself and helped me to realize that I am my true teacher--Om Namah Shivaya Gurave : I offer myself to the Light, the Auscpicious One, who is the True Teacher within and without. It was as if in that moment I understood that I needed to walk the journey of bringing yoga-- Anusara Yoga specifically into the Juvenille Detention Center where I live. I knew there would be red tape, I knew there would be resistance, I knew there would be stonewalling, but what I didn't know was how when the time is right---the time would be perfect to establish a time for these kids that would become unprecedented in Kootenai County. A year ago, I never thought we would get here it took months of phone calls to get to the right person and more phone calls to get past the wrong person and then finally one month ago after 10 months of trying within about 42 seconds they were asking when I could start and how I wanted to structure the classes and OH MY GOSH the fear set in, was I ready I had almost completed the Anusara Immersion, I was about to start Anusara Teacher training---but that was it , I had not started the teacher training would it be possible that I could actually teach these beautiful young children--who are jaded, and cynical and really don't appreciate anyone--I meditated on how I could effect change, and then it came to me I can't effect change, but I can spend time and give these beautiful young kids the attention that I first received from my teachers Patricia and Karen and show them lovingkindness without an agenda and then maybe if even for a moment they would forget that their lives were out of control and that they were just kids looking for the same things that we all look for everyday-- a reason to matter. I talked with my teachers Patricia and Karen whom I love more every day that I walk this path--and they helped me and loved me and shared my story with our Kula and the Kula helped me know that I wasn't alone that they were there with me every step of the way and that our Kula would accept these kids broken and hurting and we would love them as if they were coming to one of our classes as a new student. With lesson plans in tow and 24 mats on Tuesday February 26, 2008 at 7:50am I walked with Nisprapancaya Shantaya vibrating in my mind reminding me that the True Teacher is never absent and is full of peace--I laid out the mats and watched as these amazing kids, beautiful and full of life--not jaded or cynical-- walked in and stood ready to partake this journey with me. I quietly said, "Please take a nice seat." and there it was my first class and we sat centering in silence breathing, listening and breathing and it began my dream of Yoga on the Inside.