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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kind of Like the Yoga

There was a new attention to the boys in yoga class today, they were renewed by the Saturday class with Buck. There were 20 in today's class, all of whom were at Saturday's class..this was really the first time I got to talk with them about the class because after our practice Saturday they were whisked away to get ready for their lunch. The boys were sparkly today as we spoke about yoga, and how "bad(meaning good) and cool" Buck was to come on his birthday to spend time with them.

One of the boys said, "Jen, Buck didn't talk alot about shoulders on the back, or drop your shoulders in your back pocket--he said heart forward, is that the same thing?" I love how the boys who have been doing Anusara for most of their time, noticed that even though the styles of Ashtanga and Anusara are different, they are very similar--so we talked about how a tree which comes from the same seed can have many branches and how awesome it was for the boys to see the similarities and differences that make each practice great.

Today on New Years Eve I was brought again to tears as the boys said, "that was awesome to see someone besides you who loves yoga as much as you--and didn't talk down to us, like we were nothing." I responded with a reverent, "None of you are nothing, no matter what you have done, each of you is a gift--and with every breath you are able to share your heart with others." It was funny, because in the middle of my ranting about how great everyone is, one of the boys said, " It's the heart talk--she always goes with the heart talk." This was exceptionally funny because my 19 year old daughter on many occasions, has reminded me of the same thing---I always go for the "heart lecture." The boys laughed but they all know that each of them is something special--and no matter what they are worthy of being shown goodness.

The self confidence that comes from a strong steady practice, is growing in these kids, knowing that they have the strength to overcome anything in their way is the power of Yoga at work.

Karen, my teacher has been talking lately about Sutra 1.33 which in a nutshell is the four noble virtures:

Maitri -Friendliness towards the presence of happiness (in yourself or in another)
Karuna - Compassion towards the presence of suffering (your own or anothers')
Mudita - Celebration and a congratulatory joy in the presence of success and goodness (yours' or anyone's)
Uppeksha - Equanimity when in the presence of wrongdoing and vice (yours or another's)

I would say that if I had to pick one that was displayed today it was Mudita, the celebration and congratulatory joy in the presence of success and goodness--each of these kids who come from some of the worst homes and enviornments imaginable even without fully understanding what Noble Virtues means showed such a celebration of joy for the Yoga today--without even having to be told Mudita is in them, as if they were born with it, and it took a 3 hour Yoga workshop to start to crack open the shell. I love the idea of knowing that at birth we are given the gift of the 4 Noble Virtues, and that slowly of a long period time with devotion, we find inside ourselves the ability to truly hold onto that which has always been ours--kind of like the Yoga.

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