I chose Blessed Savior due to the incredibly positive and fullfilling experience we had together last year. I was initially invited into the school by the k-4 teacher. She was searching for calming, stilling, emotionally leveling tools to create a more productive, harmonious classroom.
Due to extreme budget constraints, the teacher “didn’t think they could make the program work.” I stayed congruent with my belief that every child deserves yoga. I reassured her that I would accept her invitation and there would be many amazing rewards without monetary compensation. I then taught several classes to k4, k5. This year we expanded the program to k3-first grade.
When the omTown Yogis' grant information arrived, I became congruent with another belief. The hearts of yoga teachers are extremely generous and we also deserve to get paid for our offerings. The teachers and students were thrilled that yoga would return to their school!
The entire experience was transformative. Each week children greeted me with unwaning enthusiasm and ear to ear smiles and said “Miss Minda, we are so excited we have yoga today!!” The warm hugs received were countless. Many moments anchored into our belief that the children were greatly benefiting. The children appeared to have less chaotic energy, seemed to feel special, loved, nurtured and cared for. The teachers shared that the yoga and mindfulness tools were being practiced on a regular basis in their classrooms and both they and the children continuously drew from their acquired skills.
Several experiences touched my heart. One day prior to the start of class voice levels of the children in the hall were clearly no longer at an acceptable level. I heard the teacher say “Use your breath....in through the nose....ahhhh out through the mouth 3 times....now in through the nose, out through the nose.” There was instant calm.
Also, while teaching a new mudra with a similar finger position as one taught last year, the childrent started reciting “sa ta na ma,” a mudra they had cleary remembered from last year. The students remembered every detail of what was learned in general, including all the words and movements to songs I wrote such as “Breath, Body, Mind and Heart and Shanti Om.”
One other special moment was from last year. After I taught the first k/5 class , the teacher told me that one of the boys to whom I was teaching was severly autistic and that she had never seem him show such stillness in all of the time that she had worked with him.
One final experience involved a teacher who’s initial role seemed to be more about controlling behavior rather than enjoying and learning the skills right along with the children. By the end of the program she was fully engaged. I saw her doing an awesome hamstring stretch and
laughing with the kids. The spirit of yoga definitely touched her heart!
The teachers concluded that an extremely cohesive environment was created and praised the quality of the program.