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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Freedom Through Breath

The weather is cooler today than the last few days of 100 degrees or higher. It's one of those days where you could lay in bed all day and just basque in the coolness of the air--I personally LOVE those days-- where you feel like finally after many nights of hot sticky air your body feels a freedom from within, as if your breath moves easier, your body feels lighter and your mind is open. My theme had been done for a couple of days and it was on freedom of the body through breath and with that freedom you are able to not only give but to receive----kind of auspicious. The girls were really tired this morning and moving REALLY slow and it's funny how the perception is that a long savasana is just what is needed when in reality a good freedom finding, breath moving, mind opening practice is really the best kind of practice so we began with finding our breath--the girls were slumped over in retreat--a vibrant round of ujjai breath, and you could actually watch their spines grow with each inhale--if I have not said it before I LOVE YOGA!!! I wish that the girls could see themselves and how they respond to the movement of breath--because with each inhale and a reminder to lengthen through the spine to the top of their head--their torso gained length and their breath became very audible. One girl even said, "does this work like the oxygen bar--where you breathe in fresh oxygen and you feel better---?" I loved the look on her face when I expalined that my daughter has been to an oxygen bar, and yes it is similar because you are actually moving the breath though your body which even though we breathe 20,000 times a day we do not fully take a nice long inhale and a nice long exhale equal parts every time--sometimes we have long inhale sometimes we have a long exhale and without thinking about it--when we focus on the breath, we energize our cells and give our bodies a vibrant boost of energy --- which they all agreed that they now felt.

As a suprise after practice I used the 61 point meditation that Karen, my teacher used with us last week during our first week of intensive--this meditation during savasana was really amazing when we did it in class and I thought the girls would like it because as teens, they have a hard time staying still and a guided savasana works for them--think about being 16 and told to lie still, focus on your breath and by the way don't fidgit--wouldn't happen---I've noticed that some of the girls are in agony during savasana and was so blessed by this gift of the 61 points--which truly is a guided body part by body part relaxation exercise that occupies the mind and helps them focus their attention on themselves and eases the savasana jitters. The girls LOVED it, 6 of them said it was the best savasana they ever had, and two of them felt like they were floating instead of glued to the floor. One of them said, "I didn't even notice the relaxation music, I was really focused on your voice and then I didn't even realize that you stopped talking and all of sudden there was the bells--I need to do that in my cell."

Many times during the class I forget that we are in JDC, I really forget that these kids don't just go home, they go into their cell sleeping on a metal slab with 2 inches of foam and barron, cold walls. the silence I can only imagine is defeaning--and at night so uncomfortable. It's a small gift the 61 point meditation to the girls of JDC a gift they can unwrap whenever they need a minute to collect themselves.

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