A magic basket, KAY music (obviously!), pom-poms, 1 husband, 1 6-month old baby and the beginning of the biggest talking stick you’ve seen (the inside of a carpet roll) were packed in the car and on our way to the Yogini Tinies Workshop for children with special needs. This workshop helps the parents understand what actually goes on in the Yogini Tinies weekly class due to a thinning out of children attending.
When we arrived at the venue in Chigwell (just outside of London), I was greeted with a huge table filled with glitter (exciting!!), glue, multi coloured material, furry stars and much more for us all to get creative with.
Having worked with Epping Council by offering yoga on their scheme, I had a general idea of what worked with the children, but this was on a much larger scale (14 children). Siblings were also welcome so I had to make sure I had the interest of all ages and abilities.
So, what worked? TALKING STICKS! Oh my, how we got creative. It was so lovely to see the children and parents helping each other and create their imagination. This took up a lot of our allocated 2 hours. I thought they might all explode with joy when we got down and all arty pants with the giant talking stick! They went WILD for Toe-ga, especially Jack who was a regular to the weekly classes. He had expressed to his mum he wanted to leave, but when he saw the magic basket he knew contained the pom-poms, he came running back and stayed till the end!
Music-wise, Every Little Cell was a great intro for everyone. It kinda broke the ice, got the children’s attention and created a bond. The same can be said for Stinky Feet. Those kids just love having their feet sprayed! A Yogi Went to Sea got everyone excited and joining in, along with Hip Hop Yoga Bop. The children loved having people copy them and their dancing. It was really interesting to watch.
What I found thought provoking was the secret garden. Some children were ok, but some just couldn’t handle it. But it was fine as the parents were there to soothe and give cuddles… which was really nice. Some parents even joined in which was even nicer.
We had really good feedback and I have to say it was a really awesome day. Teaching children with special needs is a real gift. The love they have to offer is unfounded and so genuine, your heart just breaks out into sunshine.
I’m full of gratitude for this path I’ve been guided down. I just hope the Yogini Tinies feel the same.