The classes at JDC follow quite closely the classes at the college where I teach, that helps with the cultivation of the theme and basically keeps me from going crazy with 5 themes for 5 different classes. This week is mid-terms at the college and during mid-terms it seems appropriate to do restorative practice--a slowing down, a looking inward, a finding the place in the heart that reminds us all that we are worth every breath we take. I am a little prejudiced for restorative practice and the profound change it can bring if you are open enough to receive it.
In the beginning of class, we talk about what it really means to relax your body, relax your mind and not sleep--how the minute we close our eyes and begin to breath our mind fills with every single thing that has ever happened in our life to remind us how much we should not relax---that is the part of restorative class that sometimes gets forgotten--it's not about just laying in savasana or viparita--it's about our relationship with our mind and the feeling of guilt that creeps in when we allow ourselves to visit the relaxed place in our heart that holds our truest self.
The boys did great, we talked through a relaxation excercise--they focused on their breath, the adjustments help to fully relax the body, and only towards the end of the 20 minutes did the fidgiting happen---and all it took was a reminder to remain as still as possible, still enough to hear your neighbor's breath and in that breath recognition that we are all being breathed and are all worthy of finding the place where relaxation resides in our heart.
Boys are so great with this, you could literally see them sink into their mat, they released the hold on their fists, they feet fell from the midline, and the breath became equal inhale to exhale---it was pretty magical.
One boy said, "Jen I feel like I just slept for a whole night---I'm doing this in my cell."