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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yoga this week was a roller coaster of emotion--on Tuesday as I arrived at the jail I was greeted by the sweetest guard who looked me dead in th eye and said, "Don't worry about the screaming--eveything is fine." This sentence even as I'm writing it does sound a bit weird, scary and well downright Guantanamo Bay, but in the year I have been teaching, I just picked up my mat, and said "Lead on! Will this girl be in my class, will I need to have extra mats?"

As we walked to the Yoga Room, the eye piercing screams from a hoarse girl--who had been screaming most of the night rang through the hallway. In the cement walls of the JDC, the screaming was unimaginable. As I was setting up a dull thumping was coming from the room that held the screaming--as I turned, the guards were going in to try and "talk her down" from her manic state, as they did she hurled herself towards the door of her cell--which she did several times, 4 guards tried to help this poor kid, and finally the 4 guards won--which when you see this kind of stuff on TV, you think my gosh, how could someone treat someone likethat, and in real life as it is unfolding around me all I could think of what get in there and help her--the guards were amazing and did an incredible job of not including the other kids and keeping her safe and eveyone esle, I have to say that there may be bad institutions but this one is not and that is due to the staff. It turns out that this girl believed that she was God, she was actually in such a manic state, that she was receiting scripture in tongues that could save us all---in some way, my mind wandered to--what if she is, we are all Divine at our core I believe that , how do we know that she's not--what if this time, the Messiah was being restrained and that would be it--the end of the world. I was snapped back to the Yoga Room by the rest of the girls entering.

As the girls came into class, which because of this incident was 45 mintues late--which means our class was 15 mintues the girls were in really good moods, I mean really good--their cells were 5 feet away from this screaming, they had heard it all night and I could not believe they were not affected by this. We talked a little and one girl said, "Jen, we all get crazy in here, some of us think we are God, some of us come to Yoga and remember that we are full of inner goodness like you say, but none the less we all get crazy--thank you for staying, we were afraid you would leave."

All we did Tuesday was sit and talk about our theme of Gratitude, and it hit me--The Goddess of Sequencing is present, because gratitude was definatly in the hearts of these girls-grateful for not being the screaming girl in the cell, grateful for being able to spend even 15 mintues in Yoga, and greatful because they had a visit from the crazy yoga lady who did not get scared and leave. There is a calmness in the midst of the crazy in JDC, Yoga is present, Yoga is working and maybe someday when they least expect it, Yoga will reenter their lives and they will remember that at their core, they are Divine and full of inner goodness.

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