A group of friends in Bristow said it’s unlikely they would’ve met if it weren’t for a series of destructive decisions and the healing nature of yoga.
A recently released inmate told News On 6 about the woman who’s helping him break years of bad habits.
It’s a community coming together and a collection of stories and struggles. Kris Wyatt is the woman who has welcomed new faces into her home for fellowship, backyard jams, and Friendsgiving. Wyatt said she met most of them from teaching yoga to inmates.
“This is just an incredible group of support,” said Wyatt. “With judgement, none of us would’ve met. But we’re people, and this is beautiful.”
Wyatt taught yoga at the Creek County Jail pre-COVID-19, and that’s where she met 30-year-old Frank Thompson, who is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Thompson said he stole his first car at age nine, got his first pistol charge at twelve, and spent years dealing drugs. He said yoga started as a simple excuse to leave to his cell.
“I was kind of, I was just done,” said Thompson. “I was kind of just running. I didn’t know which way I was going.”
Then, Thompson said the yoga instructor standing in front of him would be the reason he’d go to rehab, his pen pal, court date companion, and voice of reason.
“She tells me you know ‘You’re not a piece of crap,’” Thompson said.
Thompson said he was never encouraged growing up under an addict’s roof, with a dad he said only showed up when he did something wrong.
“Everybody gets so hung up on me being a criminal. They don’t treat me like a person,” said Thompson. “Kris came in there and did the exact opposite.”
Thompson is now taking full advantage of a twelve-step program and owning up to his actions.
“Looking at it from an inward perspective, and no longer placing blame on anybody else,” Thompson said.
Thompson prioritizes his kids, volunteering at church, making music, chairing AA meetings, and surrounding himself with the Wyatt support system.
“We’ve all dealt with things that are challenging, but everyone here has overcome something difficult,” Wyatt said.