April 27, 2015 Of note: I was teaching children's yoga at the Volunteers of America Transitional Housing Program in Baltimore, Maryland on the day Freddy Gray died and riots broke out on the streets. I want to share a thought/concept/want/need expressed by one child.
The children stir around the room and one by one settle into easy seated pose. Lengthening through the spine, they visualize themselves rooting down into the earth while stretching upward toward the sky ... I take this opportunity to seek connection with each child with a soft gaze. Some choose not to be seen.
Synchronizing our movements, the children take turns leading a sun-breath. Breathing onto all fours into a stable table.
Then a deep breath in - cat.
Long breath out - cow.
Downward-facing dog. Breathe.
Eyes closed, foreheads resting softly on their mats, time to let go...
To be Here. Now. In this moment.
While resting in child's pose, I invite the children to bring to mind what they want more of: "Maybe not cake or candy," I offer, "something meaningful...something important to you."
Without hesitation, she lifts her head, meets my gaze, and responds: "Freedom!"