Saturday was an awesome day! I packed up the yoga mats and hula-hoops and music that we use for Girl Scout Yoga (our travelling show before we open) and headed to an organization that I have volunteered my time to for several years. In the past, I have chaired their annual gala, run the craft at the Holiday Party, and done monetary and gift drives. Today, I was off to do something that I truly loved- Yoga with kids!
A little information about AchieveAbility:
ACHIEVEability, located in Philadelphia, works to permanently break the cycle of poverty for single parent, low-income families, many formerly homeless, by providing a range of supportive services, including education, job readiness, and housing assistance. Everything we do is geared towards promoting accountability and self-sufficiency among our clients.
Anyway, I was without Yang (Amy) today, so I headed into the city to PLAY with the kids. When I arrived, they were all ready and eager to PLAY. Some had yoga mats (I loved that), some were scared and most told me they thought yoga was hard and they couldn’t do it. If there is one thing Amy and I don’t stand for in yoga, it’s the “I can’t do it”. That is not allowed in our yoga class. We can say, “I am not able to do that today, but I’ll try” but never, “I can’t”. I ignore the remarks and start with a name game and a hula-hoop. They warm up easily with each other as we name what superpower we would wish for. Most want to be invisible and walk through walls—I find that interesting.
Anyway, we spend and hour bending and stretching our bodies and laughing and falling and dancing and learning yoga tricks. I take tons of pictures! I am amazed what they can do and learn in an hour!! They delight me!
At the end of class, I like to do a guided meditation. I had been reading from a children’s meditation book, but I have decided to do my own. I have everyone lay down, face up with their palms up to receive and begin a meditation of being an eagle and soaring through the air and repeating silently to themselves, “I am happy, I am free.”
They are all quiet as we do the meditation. We wake up, do our OM’s and take some pictures and start to say our goodbyes. One little girl hugs me and whispers in my ear “can I have a yoga mat to take home, Miss Lisa?” “Of course,” I say without hesitation. I know in my mind that this is the end of the Girl Scout yoga mats. They all want one and what was I to do?? All of the kids that want a mat, take them, hug me, and help pack up my car. I almost leave my IPod, but remember it at the end- although, if one of those angelic children asked me for it, I would have given that away too.
Amy and I will be good Visionaries. We will go around the world spreading PLAY and hope. I know I have hope after seeing 16 inner city kids PLAY and have fun and imagine and act silly today. It was worth every minute and mat!
We are happy. We are strong. We are happy. We are strong.