This is a beautiful little video about my friend Robbie Norris’s Richmond City Jail Ashtanga Yoga program. Robbie has been teaching classes for free, for four and a half years, every week, to a rotating group of inmates. His adherence to teaching the primary series in an effort to instill discipline and self-reliance in the men is extremely admirable – and so is his conviction.
This is from his blog:
I know this yoga will revolutionize the lives of those who adopt it as a fundamental daily discipline, and it is intrinsically rewarding to me to be able to offer that possibility to a person who is so off-track they’ve landed in jail. While I can’t speak for every human being, I do know that for me, and for every inmate I’ve taught who accepts my invitation to practice during days class is not held, the yoga makes us clearer mediums of consciousness than we were before yoga. And it feels so lovely and sublime to do — even though it always takes some effort to step … onto … the mat. But the good news is, as the self-practice becomes more established over time, the effort becomes an accepted part of the equation; the benefits are so good and obvious, and the direct knowledge that practice is always worth the effort becomes ingrained in the practitioner.