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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Flying with a gift

Yesterday I was given a wonderful gift. I was asked to teach yoga to students in a summer program. These students were from Haven and Hodge elementary schools. They were all students of color. I recently wrote a research paper on the whiteness of yoga. So this opportunity was exactly what I needed in an effort to normalize yoga for people of color-if that is even possible.

Anyway, there were just over 40 kids on purple mats moving to the whale sounds (the theme was about whales and Spotify has this playlist...). Yeah, I guess you had to be there. There was a lot of laughter and even more mindfulness. We focused on our breaths. We allowed our bodies to take the shapes exactly the way they were supposed to all very different from one another. It was magical. Everyone participated. One second grader brought his mat upfront and helped lead the class. why? Because he had done yoga before and he wanted to be up front. It was really just that simple.

Of course there were the usual kiddie chatter and giggles during class, but it was all good. It was more than good. It was a perfectly imperfect practice just as all practices should be. It was the start of a movement. It was activism in a quiet gentle form. These children were doing something that many adults don't do. Something that many adults don't do because they are afraid. Something that many people of color do not do because of the stares they get being the only 'one'.

My hope is that yesterday I empowered over 40 children to step on their mats not just now, but later on in life without fear of anything. Without thinking about their skin color, their body type, or not understanding the poses. I also want them to take this power with them off of the mat. I want them to feel their power in school, on the bus, on the street, and especially in their minds.

Yesterday I was given a wonderful gift and for that I am eternally grateful.

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