A Gift of Yoga Pants

Oct 31, 2018

By Eric Sponheim, former board member

The fault was mine. I had glanced through the release form for visitors to the prison too quickly before signing it.

As a result, I ran into an issue when I tried to pass through security to worship with the New Beginnings congregation at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility.

I was wearing jeans. And jeans were not allowed under the clothing guidelines for visitors.

For a few uncomfortable moments, it seemed I might miss the special service New Beginnings had planned for the evening. As part of Women’s Wellness Week, worship was to be a full-body experience, integrating spiritual yoga practices with Christian sacraments of word and table.

Along with other members of the Prison Congregations board, I was invited to join in this unique evening of wholeness and welcome. For the time being, however, I was left waiting in an outside lobby, wearing the jeans that were keeping me from the party.

Fortunately, an act of grace was soon to ensue.

One of the two leaders for the yoga sessions in the service offered me an extra pair of exercise pants he had in his car. Those pants were my ticket to a remarkable evening of spiritual affirmation and renewal.

I changed quickly out of my jeans and into those gifted-pants. They got me into the prison, where visitors from the outside and women doing time on the inside made the movements of faith in the form of yoga poses.  

This was 2 1/2 years ago now, in May of 2016. If memory serves, however, the instructor's name was Darin.

“We can do no great things, Mother Theresa once said, “only small things with great love.” She was right. Darin did exactly that. 

Category: grace

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