Rikers Yoga – Trust Is A Process

Photo NYT
Photo NYT

I went to Rikers today instead of my normal Tuesday. My regular class in the max area was thrilled. No one got the message that I would be coming today. I got a hug followed by a we missed you- we thought something happened. One confessed that she thought I’d forgotten about them. I assured her- no way. But I really appreciated her honesty and told her so. The building was quiet and we had a beautiful practice. It was so quiet I could hear students breathing. A gift in this environment.

Started a new class in a sentenced women’s dorm and had a large group excited to come to yoga. This excitement extended to the CO who turned off the TV and kept the dorm fairly quiet for our whole practice- another first. One moment to be filed under hilarious- one woman left class calling it fake ass Pilates. Can’t win em all! We had a great time. At the end of class one student said ‘Please come back. People say they will come back and don’t.” Before I could say anything someone said- nah she’s here all the time. Trust is process. It takes time. It takes patience. I hung around after and two students wanted an easy routine they could do in the mornings. After writing one we practiced it together. Not all will practice on the outside but some will. And by learning to breathe a little more deeply they are opening up opportunities to honor themselves.

It’s cold outside but there was a flicker of warmth inside. I’m grateful and honored that they let me in.

Namaste Y’all


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