More letters from prisoners prove Ashtanga works
Our friend-by-way-of-the-Internet, Robbie Norris, has posted two new letters from inmates to whom he teaches yoga.
If that doesn’t sound familiar, check out our previous posts on Robbie. And, I’ll repeat: We’re talking about teaching yoga to folks in prison.
Here’s how he’s prefaced his latest offering:
These positive changes are a direct result of sustained daily practice of the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga postures, as taught to many superb yoga practitioners directly by Pattabhi Jois, and by these excellent teachers to me.
Last Thursday night I practiced with my guys at jail. Occasionally I do this so they can see that I give the same effort and attention I ask them to give. I instruct them to practice only as much as they specifically know in order; and to stop, remain silent, sit and watch when they either get tired or get to a point in the practice where they don’t know what comes next. Some inmates initially resist the notion of my being so specific, but soon enough they realize the beauty of internalizing a specific meditation practice that improves overall health and increases awareness on many levels. With 14 guys packed into the small chapel, pews upended and mats just inches apart, it was the best self-practice session with the inmates I’ve ever had. The yoga continues to be taken more seriously in the jail, as more and more students are observed practicing in their tier on days class is not held. The tiers hold 100 or more inmates in a very confined space (triple-bunk beds). These days, when new students arrive, they are already impressed from having seen other inmates working on their self-practice.
You’ll have to clink on the link to get to the two letters he’s posted. (It’s only fair, and it’s just a click away. Promise you won’t be disappointed. If you are, your full money back!)
We continue to have nothing but the highest respect for Robbie and marvel at his prison students’ dedication. As always, a good reminder for those of us who are fortunate to practice under ideal (or close) conditions.
Posted by Steve