And…. If security staff at the Maximum Security Unit had come to the door to see why we were running late with Monday night group, they would have seen us all lying on the floor in dead man’s pose. Yes, they would have thought there had been a vicious slaughter with only one person left standing…our Morgan.
Morgan led the group that night. As an excellent yoga teacher, she taught the group members kundalini yoga. This was a first for our class, quite possibly a first for the prison, and a first for most of the men in the group. But, boy, did they have fun! With a bit (actually quite a bit) of moaning and groaning. It was Willis who said as he stood much too long into a challenging pose, “She’s going to kill us!”
Everybody laughed and agreed. Karl muttered as Morgan urged them all to lift their pelvic floor, “I never heard of a pelvic floor….” Zajrael groaned after another instruction, “I never heard of a sacrum…”
But on they went, pose after pose, breathing, stretching, reaching, holding, and gently laughing…trying to find stillness and fulfill their deepest intention. They were all good and dedicated students doing something that was very foreign to most of them! You can’t imagine how alien it is to roll around barefoot on the floor in a prison, an environment of extreme rigidity and control. It takes courage to let go and to look a little ridiculous!
When class was over, they were happily chatting as they put their socks and shoes back on. All were a little sore. Robert shared his fantasy that they all would soon be hobbling painfully back down the hall to their barracks, a soft aroma of essential oils following them. They wondered what others would think: Whatever happened to those guys?!
Their old gangster selves continued the gentle process of dying as their shining inner selves were birthed a little bit more.