13 beautiful girls came into class today and one of them turned 17 on Friday......as I explained our yoga custom of birthday celebration they were all excited to perform 17 sun salutations in order to celebrate and honor the birthday of our fellow student. It was exciting to see them all get excited for this person's birthday because she is one of the most challenged girls in class. It is very hard for her to just stand in tadasana without her legs shaking and feeling unbalanced. It is amazing to witness the camaraderie that arises in the "yoga room." Before class this beautiful birthday girl said that she is feeling better because the staff has gotten her six medications figured out----I was taken back--six medications she's only 17---she explained that her bi-polar disorder seems to get better when she breathes the "Darth Vader Breath" that we do in yoga and that she has been doing it in her room.
As we were in Vira 1, one of the girls could not hold herself--the girls cheered her on and she still could not hold herself even remotely steady---she said to the class, kind of out of the blue--"I have no self esteem." The girls came into a Circle, and we talked about how just like a tree that grows from the trunk first, so do we--self esteem comes from our core and in our life we may have had something happen that made our self esteem go into hiding, but today we can make a stand to go and look for it--we have the ability to look within our heart and bring our goodness forward--they all listened as I said our goodness never leaves us. We talked about how just because our self esteem went into hiding doesn't mean that we as beautiful young women cannot go find it and bring it forward---we are worth everything as young women---we have the goodness inside us and the wavering in the pose is the goodness wanting to come out---we just need to trust ourselves, breathe, hold to our center and let it all shine out. We moved back into Vira 1 and the change in the pose was remarkable--they held to their center, they were breathing, they were not looking around to see who or what was looking at them they focused on themselves and even my wavering flower, held for 5 breaths to her center----the absolute joy on her face when she realized that she was doing it was indescribable---it was yoga from the inside out absolutely.
It is amazing how broken these girls are, and that when they realize their worth, the joy that shines out from them is so pure and radiant it is practically blinding---that is what we all need to focus on, even as adults we loose our inner joy that radiates through all that we do somewhere in our lives something told us we were not worthy of the joy, not worthy of the goodness that resides inside us all---and for some reason it was easier to believe that we were not worthy than remember that we are worth everything--
Om Namah Shivaya Guruve--we bow to the true teacher who lives in side us as us and is our true teacher---
Yoga shows us that inside us we are all resplendently good, no matter what we may have done or what may have been done to us can take that away from us---we hold the ultimate power of goodness.