Two of the boys that have been coming to yoga have been sentenced to go to what is called "committment". One of the boys was caught having sex at school and one boy ran away from home. Committment is a big deal--it's not something to be taken lightly and is a year long program in the southern portion of our state. I understand the relevence of the program, I know that there are kids who will benefit--but one of these kids, is such a great kid--he's one of the kids who came to my studio class in the summer, and really made an effort to show up and be present with the teachings. I've met this boys mother and I'm sorry but I understand why he is running away all the time. She is a "not to be messed with, smoking, french fry eating, mom's tired so you watch your 2 year old sister" kind of mother--she was not interested in his yoga practice, she didn't even care that he progressed so far, and not to mention that he is 15 and wanted to come to yoga in the SUMMER when all his friends were at the beach and hanging out. I have been accused of looking at these kids with rose-colored glasses, but come on...seriously when are we going to look at what these kids are running from or why are they having sex at school or why do they steal cigarettes or WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PARENTS? I'm a believer that if kids run from home, there is a reason they are running, and that is what should be researched--these kids should not be thrown away into an environment where most of the kids in "committment" have serious mental and emotional and psycological issues---issues that kids that run away from home should not be having to deal with.
I am a believer that the kids in JDC are products of their enviornment at home--every one of them---yes there are those kids who get into trouble and spend a night or two in jail and then learn their lesson----these kids are kids whose parents are supportive of them and interestingly have never been to jail either. One of the boys told me today that he has to stay in jail for 90 more days because his mother---his mother has to complete a 90 day intake program for drugs---so let me ask--what the hell kind of enviornment is this boy going to go into when his mother gets out of treatment and he gets out of jail---he will have to hold not only himself together but her also and whatever boyfriend she met in treatment that comes along to be the "father" figure in his life. I mean no wonder these kids do so well in jail--there is no drama!! They don't have to worry about when they come home from school what they're going to find, they don't have to worry about if mom or dad spent the money for food on drugs, or if their little brothers and sisters were being taken care of when they are not home.
The bright spot in this situation is the yoga--the fact that the yoga brings into the jail the thought the very thought that the inner goodness that has always lived in them can guide them into so many better and greater things in their life---that today is not the end as they sit in JDC it can and most likely will be the beginning if they just want to bring themselves to believe that they are worthy of feeling good. The way these kids light up, and truly enjoy their yoga practice, and that in their cells when no one is around, they practice their yoga and their breathing---they practice and feel safe with themselves in that moment--and hopefully on the outside when they find themselves being swallowed up by the crap that can drown a person, they remember that their breath can set them free and they themselves can make the goodness that has always been with them shine their heart forward and live from a place of peace.