WOW!! 14 girls today, that's alot for the normal 8 or 9 that are housed in JDC--they are so innocent looking, beautiful and lost. One of the girls is a yoga prodigy--she listens and guides the newer girls and can tell me on every pose where to inner spiral, how to pull into the midline and that no matter what to keep breathing. She is also the same girl who contributed to the conversation about non-harming today that she feels that self harm is the most destructive harming that her cutting is out of control and that if she breathes it helps her to sometimes not be a cutter. Yes, my heart sank directly to the floor and then boomaranged up into my throat. Cutting is serious, cutting is when you don't feel anything, and you cut yourself so that at least you feel something---I honor her courage to speak to a group of basically strangers to her, I honor her for seeing that cutting is self harm, and I honor her because she is recognizing breathing as a way to center. The girls inside today were so focused, I can see a change in them every time we take the mat. One of the girls today asked me if she could take my class when she gets out---this has become my focus, I want to offer free yoga to these kids--I know it will make a difference to them giving them the time and attention they deserve has become my priority.
Another girl who was in yoga for the first time stated that her negative self talk is "running like mice on a wheel in her head." That she never feels good enough--she also was a little wobbly in poses even child's pose. I expalined how pulling to the midline is hard and needs to be practiced and that if we fall or wobble, we are just learning the skill and sometimes just the knowing that you can stop the wobbling is the best thing. It was like a flower, she straightened up, held strong, and she held her down dog for 5 breaths--she fell to the floor and this time she had a big grin on her face, not a look of disappointment. My beautiful girls said "good job", "that's it", "you can do it." These are the same girls who have not found support in thier lives but have found that it's ok to support others.----What a lesson they are teaching me about Ahimsa---it doesn't matter what happened to you, you can bring goodness to all around you, you can be the support when other need it and you can shine your light on those who have lost theirs.
I am perplexed after every class at how these beautiful flowers got themselves into JDC, what kind of life did they come from that jail was the result.
One girl asked me how can I practice that Ahimsa---I explained "notice where your thoughts are coming from--find out why you are having negative thoughts--just breathe into the thoughts and act from a place of the midline, change your mind, practice lovingkindness." She cocked her head and said "it is the mouse on the wheel of my mind that brings the negative thoughts and they just keep coming---but when we were laying down and breathing I didn't think about the negative thoughts--so that's what you're talking about right?" Yes I said, that is what I'm talking about--she smiled and walked off.
I packed my stuff and smiled at my girls knowing that for this last hour maybe a little negativity melted away.