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Monday, March 24, 2008

The light that guides the way

My girls are back---better than ever!!!! Today we begin again---one of my long term girls said--"I was slacking last week--and then after the breathing I worked harder. I feel peaceful after yoga. I want to do good." For her to feel and recognize that she was letting the periphery guide her away from her center was amazing. Today she was the leader, we had new girls again, and one of them kept saying "I can't, I can't breathe, I can't move"---she looked at the new girl and said, "yes you can, just try--it was hard for me in the beginning and you can do it." The new girl straightened up-literally you could see her muscle energy rising in her central channel--inhaled, exhaled and there it was standing forward bend---really beautiful--yoga from the inside out! There is a hierarchy in juvenille detention--there are the leaders, the followers, and those who really have not found their way. Many of the girls housed in there today were lost, few of the girls in Juvie are leaders, today there was a change--leaders emerged and the tone shifted in our little room---yoga was forming and this class was the best class we've ever had.

During poses, we focused on how we do our poses can show us how we live our lives--how if we don't try in yoga or don't even want to try that maybe when we feel resistance we just give up and give in to what's not in our best interest. On the mat, if we pull into the midline, hold our core strong, focus on the poses and breathe we can take that energy off the mat and hold true to ourselves even in adverse circumstances. One girl said, "I want to be strong and make good decisions, I want to be in my center--I guess I never knew how." The beautiful part of these girls is that slowly they are gaining self confidence--they know they are strong and beautiful and that they have a reason for being here and they want to contribute to something better.

Our focus today was this poem:
Few cross over the river.
Most are stranded on this side.
On the riverbank they run up and down.
But the wise person, following the way,
Crosses over, beyond the reach of death.
Free from desire, Free from possessions,
Free from attachment and appetite,
Following the seven lights of awakening,
And rejoicing greatly in one's freedom,
In this world the wise person
Becomes oneself a light to shine the way,
Pure, shining, free.

One girl getting out on Thursday said, "I will be the light that guides the way--" These kids never cease to amaze me, they are beautiful amazing lights--again, all they needed was something to start the fire in them--I'm blessed and humbled by bringing the gift of yoga into their life if only for a few practices--the seeds are there now and they will grow over time.

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