The girls have settled into yoga, on Tuesday's they are ready, on the mat, sitting quietly, and don't need much direction to get into seated position. They listened during the opening centering and sharing on Asteya....the girls explained their ideas on Asteya--how many times the worst stealing is of memories. One girls stated that her uncle who is in prison for murder, stole someones life, and how her other uncle stole her memories of her family by breaking into her grandmother's house and taking "anything that could be pawned."
I found myself feeling ignorant, how could I teach them about stealing, when all their lives they have lived it. It was interesting to me that they all had a story of stealing---how none of their stories were the ones I thought would be told---I stole a car, I stole cigarettes, I stole money. I find myself humbled by how these girls have had pieces of their souls stolen by others and yet, in yoga class they smile, laugh and we joke about how funny we look with out butts in the air in down dog---and yet I did what I was trying to teach them about. I came in with a preconceived notion of their responses--I was stealing their ability to understand---I had to step back, let them talk, and breathe knowing that these beautiful girls knew what I was talking about not because of anything else other than that has been their life. I sat in our silent centering and tried to breathe them all in, feel them and breathe into them the knowing that they all are filled with goodness and light----if they had only known of stealing possessions and not pieces of themselves.
One girl, quietly sits in the back row every class, has not said much during the class-- said that many people had stolen her identity by telling her she was not worthy of who she thought she was----that she was worthless and that in people telling her that, that she believed it and now she was in jail. My bright shining "B" turned to her and with a force said, "you are worth everything, never think you are worthless----like the yoga lady states of all the things the universe could have created it created you---tell those people to shove it--you become whoever you want to be and screw them." The class laughed but a light began to grow in each of them as "B" said what everyone needed to hear.
This girls class is turning into more that I imagined, these girls are thirsty for attention, they have been their whole life and because no one gave them water, they drank in whatever they could to quench that thirst---this yoga class is turning into a cathartic tall glass of cool water and I'm humbled to be their guide.
We had a great class, some of the girls were tired today---but they worked to their capacity, and everyone cheered on each other as they all worked hard---the camaraderie in this girls class is amazing---for all we've seen about teen aged girls, and how violent and mean they can be--this girls class is becoming a kula and they are strong and supportive of each other and I'm blessed to be witness to such a great display of Asteya.