I walked into the recovery house and noticed right away that we had a smaller group of women. This would be an ideal time to have a more individual focus; I would give each one of them an Asana that they had not tried before.
It is in this way yoga allows us to push forward through fear and uncertainty, bringing new experiences into our lives.
Through each small success, it is possible to conquer our inner fears.
It is magnified with these women, who will need to go back out into the world one day. They need to know that they can achieve whatever they put their hearts and minds to. Through my personal yoga practice I know that overcoming a hard asana makes you stronger as a person.
By encouraging each of them to try something new, I was trying to break their dependency on the sameness that felt comfortable.
Hardened by life at such a young age, each of the women resisted pushing physical and mental limits. It was necessary to bring them back to movements and sequences they could master. Ultimately, only one of the girls was gave a serious effort to the exercise.
Even as I cheered her on she shut down, unable to give herself credit for the achievement.
The women relaxed as we closed with a meditation, comfortable with “being” and no longer “doing”. They could easily connect and were able to let go. I hold one of the newborn children so that the mother can have a momentary break with her responsibilities, and rejoice with the others.
I resolve that next week we will build on today’s small successes, moving the group to confront their fears and challenging them to experience the rewards that life can bring.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller