Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Compassion - Daya

The Vedic Yama Daya means compassion. For two weeks now I have had the privilage to work with a lovely group of kids teaching them yoga. Two kids who have high energy (one is a lovely girl who I have worked with for over a year & a new boy). Both the parents of the high energy kids say that they would benefit from more focus based activities. The third child in the yoga class is a wonderul girl who has autism. Her parents wanted her to be in a class that was not primarily for autistic children. Immediately, the experience reminded me of when I taught first grade, and had one child with autism in a class of 23 kids. I knew it could work, and would be a wonderful learning experience for all! The high energy kids have A LOT of energy and are extremely chatty, while the little girl who is autistic is mostly non verbal. Last week, I had no idea what to expect and was amazed when I saw an incredible display of compassion. The girl who is usually eager to display her high energy/hyper take on yoga was extremely compassionate to this other young girl. She was encouraging, complimenting, understanding, and nurturing to her quiet classmate. This week, the little boy was the same. To top it all off, the little girl who was described to me as non verbal autistic, was speaking, laughing, and making animal sounds when cued!!! She was also very responsive to the music. It was so lovely to witness compassion in this unique yoga class. Often times, in adult yoga classes we talk about the ego with regard to the importance of being present without the obsession to get in the asana (pose), refraining from judgement. This was such a wonderful display of compassion and ego-less yoga. These are the highlights of teaching yoga.

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