Our Yoga classes this week in JDC have been nothing short of excitement filled. I took the opportunity to explore a practice that for the "Thursday Boys" would push them and ground them and hopefully enhance their belief in themselves. In teacher training we have been talking alot about devotional practice in terms of yoga. I had the idea last night to bring out the devotion in our practice today in JDC and just see where it takes us all. I almost cannot write how inspiring, fruitful and beautiful the boys practiced yoga with the intention of practicing for the person who inspires them the most. We sat centering and I explained to let their minds go to the most inspirational person in their life and dedicate their practice today to that person--when you are struggling, remember the person who is your inspiration and give the practice over to them.
As we moved through our initial warm ups your could feel a great presence taking over the room, the breathing was amazing, their attention to their movements was amazing, and these boys softend and moved as if they were floating. It is so indescribable the beauty that was in the JDC Yoga room this morning.
One boy, who was new today to our class, said "Why are we doing this to someone inspirational--I'm doing it for everyone on the outside of here--they are my inspiration." WOW!!! Another boy said--while continuing his pose and not missing one breath--"just think, when we get out guys--she will do this practice for us--we will become the inspiration." The room continued their poses--not one comment, not one boy looked over to see who was talking--I get chills right now writing about the experience. I had on music that was inspirational in nature--low soft melodic music--one by Nina Simone who sang of slave days and begging for the chains to be broken so that she could become free. One boy--who is quiet, shy and reserved, looked me in the eye and said-"I bet we are not the only people in prison that you teach--I bet many people are in prison and they don't now it." I could not speak or respond--and in that moment I knew I did not need to. These boys continued their practice--with little talking, lots of breathing and an opening of their hearts that was so brilliant it was almost blinding.
In Tadasana the boys remembered their inspiration--and if I had the words to describe their body language, their sweet faces, their hearts shining I would--but I don't so please forgive me that I cannot illustrate to you the change that took place today.
One boy comes into Yoga slumped over every class--walking like he has been so beaten by the world--closed off in his heart---and today, in Tadasana he stood tall for the first time, literally shoulders on his back, heart shining forward--breathing. One of the boys said, "we should video tape this--I can't believe how good we are doing. No one is even joking around."
I am humbled to be witness to this process--the practice was moved today by many inspirational guides that led the sweet "Thursday Boys" to one of the best practices that has happened. In Savasana the encouragement was made to thank their inspiration by remembering and celebrating their inspirational person and giving gratitude for their guidance.
All I can say is WOW!