It’s wonderfully peculiar the way the Universe works. A client came to me for Yoga, suffering from chronic stiffness. She was so moved by its ability to heal on various levels she asked me to assist in a workshop for a group of local children suffering from emotional dysfunctions due to life experiences.
13 year olds had been the oldest group of children I’d taught, so was I feeling a tad out of my comfort zone, but felt Yoga would be a great outlet for them. But how would I connect with them?
So I thought back to when I was 13 and what my life revolved around….. MUSIC! It’s amazing how music can unite people on many levels, and I’ve found this especially true when teaching Kundalini. I love to bring in Shamanic drum beats or chakra clearing music and ask the Yogis in the class to allow the body to move however it needs to. There are awkward hip wiggles which lead to swaying and then dancing, until they bang into a fellow Yogi and end up giggling like children. Music helps makes a connection not just with themselves, but with the people they may have felt intimidated by or self conscious to approach.
Prepped with my bag of inspiration (but still a tad scared!), and my music, I met my client at the sports day she had organized as a reward and to end the half term. They arrived nearly an hour late amidst much confusion (from the teachers) and noise (from the children). The afternoon started off with the children playing rounders and then were to go on to Yoga. This gave me the perfect opportunity to watch and observe, and from what I could see the foundation (the teachers) was crumbling, creating an unsafe environment for the children who, on a whole, were pretty good kids.
My client welcomed the teachers and children and explained the day’s set up and how the children would have a football match against the teachers. The teachers immediately poo-poo’d this, leaving the children evidently deflated and my client a little lost as to what to offer instead (the teachers had already agreed to the game). At this point the children became quite boisterous, and who can blame them when their own teachers appeared as if they didn’t want to interact with them?
The teachers were just not interested. One was busy with her mobile phone. I heard another teacher ask one of the children to not throw the ball too hard as she had just had her nails done. I think my heart sank a little here as I could feel the children begin to close in and lose interest. All around, it felt like the only person trying was my client.
And so the time came for Yoga. I had my piece of music ready and playing, and felt it was a good piece to get the children to talk to me and ask questions. I know the power of music.
Unfortunately, only one child came and sat down, the rest were teachers. The other children were left to their own devices next door, even with much persuasion by my client to get them to join Yoga. In retrospect, I wonder if the teachers actually wanted the children in the other room, and saw Yoga as “their time”? So thinking on my feet, I offered the Yoga class as a way of physically releasing negativity in personal space by moving the body as a way of gaining energy and releasing emotions. The teachers actually loved it! Turns out, the teachers needed the release, too!
But what of the children? The amazing future that is our children is going to come crumbling down if we don’t assist teachers. I think we all recognize that our teachers are put under some serious professional pressure and societal expectations, plus the daily pressures of their personal lives! We all know what it’s like to have a bad day, but for teachers, their bad days often end up spreading to their children. We need to offer teachers a way to release negative emotions in a positive way. That way, they can offer the best of themselves to their kids – both physically and emotionally.
Society demands thoughtful interaction. I say we start with yoga and see where it leads us.