As many of you know, I am passionate about yoga. Yoga has taught me how to let go, relax, and surrender. It has taught me how to love and the importance of community. Yoga is not historically attached to any religion but can be used to deepen your faith. It is about finding strength and peace and loving yourself and the community that surrounds you.
Today I got the opportunity to share this passion with the kids in Cuesta Arena. Nervous about how it would go, I was loaded with ideas to share with them. We opened the class with about 15 kids and talked about the rules of the class and the word “Namaste.” We then talked about our senses and they pointed out things they could hear, see, taste, smell, and touch. Each got a chance to ring the bell and do something for everyone to copy. With a string, opening and closing, they practiced taking deep breaths. After a game of musical mats, we circled up for some yoga positions. The kids were amazing!!! They did every thing from cat, cow, snake, lion, and dog (with sounds) to planting and growing strong trees to planks and boats. We had so much fun. We then played some team building games (the hardest of all the tasks for them). After settling them down, we were able to roll our mats into logs and come around the campfire. We talked about how each of them are important and part of the body of Christ (1 Corinithias 12). We talked about how each child is just as important as the next and without one, we would be incomplete. With grattitude glasses, each had a turn to say what they were thankful for. Most said their parents and the school, some the animals, and the missionaries that serve there.
The end was one of my most favorite parts and yet the part I was the most nervous about. At the end, I asked each to close their eyes and open their hands in a receiving manner. Though most closed their eyes, some kept them open but continued to participate. They were then given a chilaca (taffy type candy) and told to just touch the item and talk about what they felt. Next they could smell it. Then open it close to their ear to hear it. Lastly, they could taste each. Each was able to taste the goodness, with patience and intention. We ended class by getting close for hugs and saying a prayer together, thanking God for each of them.
It was truly a blessing to share my practice with them, teaching them to use their senses, ground themselves, and balance their bodies. Most importantly, I pray they learned how important each of them are and how much they are loved.