How Teaching Kids Yoga Gave Relief from Grief
I write this blog with courage as I’m in deep grief. My father passed away suddenly last September 27th, almost 2 months ago. I was in Massachusetts completing my 500YTT in Kripalu Schools of Yoga. I received the news the day before graduation. It was a total shock as my father was not ill. He had a sudden brain hemorrhage. However I did graduate the next day and made my journey to South Africa, a 17-hour non-stop flight. It was the most uncomfortable flight as I just did not believe what happened.
When I arrived, the entire mood and atmosphere of my parents home was in deep sadness and all with tears and no words to explain to me. I was trying to come in terms of using my yoga and meditation. In our Hindu culture, traditionally we mourn for 12 days being together with family and chanting mantras so the soul can be free and rest in peace. During my day of deepest grief, in all of my shock, sorrow and struggle, I sat at the feet of God. I literally spent hours each day reading God’s word, meditating on scripture and praying. I also spent a significant amount of time with my nieces and nephew teaching kids yoga. I found comfort and some relief at time. I used all the tools what I was taught in my Grounded yoga training. Just breathe was the one that really helped me and the kids. Even the mantra, “I am what I am” was enjoyed by them. They loved it the whole time I taught them. We sang it out loud, whispered and even in silence. In fact, everyday they came up to me and say, “I want to do yoda” my almost 3 year old niece’s words. I grew up with nursery rhyme “ringa ringa roses” and so we also played a game aroundthe tune. Savasana pose was very important as the kids found it very calming and grounding to be still. I even picked up their legs up and swayed them side to side, gave them foot rubs which really made them feel special and relaxed. While teaching I was finding myself also in a calm state with them. It gave me some comfort to see them in peace. I kept very strong when they were in savasana as it made me want to weep. Just looking at the precious kids laying down still made me feel stronger to be more present. They loved the tree pose too as they explored what is it like to balance, focus and concentrate. With all this teaching, I myself was in focus and it came to me what is the reality of going through grief and sadness. Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. Kids need love and compassion. I felt it in my most happy moments and in the most sad moments. I would like to end with:
I am Certain
I am Clear
I am Focused
I am Bright