I’ve spent an amazing week offering Special Yoga for Special Children training at the National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disorders in Colombo. The centre houses a school, beautiful facilities for the children like playground equipment for wheelchairs, a training space and other therapies.
Upon entering the training room I felt blessed and grateful at the variety of trainees about to undertake this journey. Two teachers from special needs units from the very poor Muthur district in the eastern province (funded by Heart of Living Yoga Foundation) completely blew me away. There were Muslim men who were open to the yoga and humble like I have never seen. A teacher from Jaffna who is also the parent of a child with special needs, more parents, physiotherapists, a couple of occupational therapists, a yoga instructor from AYM Colombo, a fantastic Ayurvedic doctor from Trincomalee in the eastern province and a couple of beautiful teachers from the centre. Different backgrounds sat side by side in a space of peace and love – a heart-warming, uplifting sight.
It was a truly blessed week. One that will remain with me. I don’t think I have ever met such humility, openness to serve and dedication. And we laughed a lot. Each day I felt moved almost to tears by the individuals I was sharing this work with. Each afternoon parents brought their children. There is so little for them here in Sri Lanka. Mothers wept as they saw what is possible for their kids… and there’s some very, very complex conditions here.
All of these children and so many more will now have Special Yoga.
Yesterday, as we went around the room at the closing ceremony everyone shared their hearts, their gratitude and their love.
I have agreed to come back in April (2017) to run more awareness workshops around the north and east. The beauty of yoga is that you don’t need anything other than your body, your breath and the ground; it’s available to everyone irrespective of poverty and lack of resources. And, of course, it is such a profound and useful practise.
It warms my heart to have planted more seeds and created deeper foundations for Special Yoga to be the primary practise to support the children in the north, east and other parts of the country.
My heart is so full of gratitude, love and blessings of all these beautiful teacher training students, parents and children.