Gathering up the boys this morning there were about 8 new boys who came to yoga---their response to going to yoga was that they would not get a work out that would be the same as PE--this is normal from the new boys--nothing new--our class moved through the theme, pranayama, and centering. The new boys remained either slumped over, or leaning backwards on their arms in their way of not acknowledging. We moved into cat/cow--still the new boys didn't easily jump in. The boys who have been coming for the past 3 months tried fruitlessly to encourage them----these boys the new boys were no strangers to JDC and they were not going to budge. We continued our class twisted child's pose, more breath work and then onto Surya. Our focus was breath, so we moved slowly methodically through the first Surya--one of the new boys asked where their front foot should be---hmmmm maybe we have some interest. We continued through the second side of our first Surya--one of the new boys stated that he felt winded---we paused for a pranayama--really focused on our breath movement. Now normally this is where the boys who have been coming get frustrated at the lack of physical movement---but they listened and encouraged. We moved to our next Surya--with a chaturanga--"push ups!" one yelled---"we don't do push ups in yoga!" My veterans laughed--and one of them said--"these aren't push ups---wait because we hold these---we hold these and then we go to the floor." We chaturangaed--then transisitoned to cobra--then Down Dog---as I scanned the room to adjust the Down Dogs--one of the boys who has been in the class the entire time--said "are we going to do 1/2 moon"---Sure I explained---with a gleam in his eye--he said, "that will get them--that's my favorite." I smiled--we moved through the Parvo/W2/Trik vinyasa. We demoed Trik to 1/2 moon with the breath--we partnered. The boys were proud of their ability to teach the new boys---the power of the Yoga Room in jail is that there is no animosity---just helpfulness towards each other.
As the new boys were sweating and twisting towards savasana--one of the new boys looked me straight in the eye and said---"ok, Yoga is waaayyy harder than PE!" I had the boys stretch out on their backs, distributed eye pillows and had them settle into Savasana---I read the story of the butterfly---they were breathing---really breathing for the first time since we began our journey together--they were still and of course their radiance shined. As we finished, and began to roll up the mats, and one of the new boys said to me---"yo-I didn't know that yoga was such wicked hard--word to your props I feel good!"