For some time now I have been offering my teaching at jails and prisons. I am certified by the Prison Yoga Project to teach the incarcerated and trauma-affected populations. I’m often asked why I teach in jails and prisons.
It’s a part of my path and it found me. At a time when I was doing self-inquiry work as to what I wanted to teach and to whom, it presented itself. As we give way to the universe, this sort of guidance comes naturally.
A number of the great sages have spoken about who is ready to receive the teachings of yoga, and it is often those who have no choice. Those who’s suffering is so great that they are ready to push back and fight for freedom. This is the place many prisoners find themselves.
If we forget the media’s representation of criminals and look at them as fellow humans, one has to be in a very dark place with no options to strike out and harm. Then they have to carry the weight of that harm forever. I assure that this dark place is not reserved for those incarcerated, so many of us have experienced the same deep place of pain and suffering out here in the ‘real’ world. The stresses of modern day life, relationship, family, trying to strive for success and money, and the traps that they create can feel like hell. When you are living a lie every moment, it tears you down until there is nowhere to go. We are all doing time in some way.