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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Strength and Grace

It was crazy in the girls yoga class today---many of my long time leaders are getting out of jail on Thursday--so it was a time for excitement--we did the girls most favorite poses---and we talked about strength and Grace and beauty. Most of the girls were on a "get out of jail" high--their conversations about strength were inspiring--"I'm never coming back here." "I'm going to do better and be a better person." We talked about how they are better people--how inside them is the "good person" that they are longing for--they just have to open to grace--open to something bigger than themselves and when they open they definatly shine out the person they are longing to become. The girls think I'm wacko when I tell them that inside them is goodness and that during yoga I see the goodness shine out of them---they joke, but I know that they see it too. These beautiful girls whose lives for one reason or another have brought them into JDC and for one hour per week, they let their guard down--they open the shield on their heart and let their inner selves be seen. Each of these girls is beautiful--today in their favorite poses, they really shined out--their beauty was evident because they allowed grace to come in--there was no "I can't." Even the new girls (2) followed along and really tried--the poses were fun, and we laughed alot, but their strength and beauty resonated because of the grace that they allowed to fill them. Every class I teach in JDC never ceases to amaze me that in the "yoga room" is a special place that allows the kids to let their guard down--relax, just be who they are without fear of embarrasement.

Two letters were given to me today:
Jen, thank you for coming here and teaching us yoga. I really like it--it's calming and peaceful. it means alot to me that you would come here and take time to be with us an hour a week not very many people would be willing to do that. I'm going to take Yoga when I get out of here--
---female inmate

I asked the boys class a couple of weeks ago, to think ahead 5 years to where they want to be--one of the boys spent a lot of time on this question, and gave me this today:
In my life, I want to find a career that I enjoy and make enough money to spport my family and I for a good life. I want faith in God, love for my friends and family, hope in tomoorw and the future and a purpose of worth. I want to help those around me and in my nation. I want to start by setting an example of leadership like you said---I know that I have a lot to say and I want to write a book about my lie and add common wisdom in the pages on what I should have done. I want to also later in life, run for public office so to cause a more permanent change.
--male inmate

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