“To be 100 percent with children is to be 100 percent with yourself. It is strengthening yourself, cleansing and healing yourself, discovering who you are, how you can relax, what irritates you, what are your needs. It is about knowing yourself deeply. Knowing, feeling and accepting your feelings, and doing what is right for you.” – Sat Sarbat
It was a huge moment when I met the children at the orphanage and rolled all that I learned from my teachers into one energetic yoga class that left the young ones asking for more and my heart overflowing with gratitude.
Gathering my thoughts much later, one thing struck me: English was largely a foreign language in this non-touristy part of the city, our shared language of humanity was a common thread that bound us all. Our collective big open hearts transcended man-imposed limitations. So did music and movement.
There was also for me a lesson in perfectionism. This is admittedly my work, in progress. So what the circle I wanted the little bodies to form turned out to be a crooked oval. So what the human train I was trying to shape hilariously crashed into a pile of wreck. So what well-meaning bystanders misjudged the momentary pandemonium as disobedience and failing on my part as a teacher and rushed to rein in the children. So. What.
We had a good laugh. Nobody was harmed in the process. The judgment, well, it probably came from my mind. It was a moment of stepping back to see who was the judge.
I taught the most liberating class in the world that afternoon in Kathmandu. There was neither kriya nor timer, the tools of a Kundalini Yoga teacher. All I had was a sensory system that was fully engaged, and the me I was cultivating, refining, rewiring. It was a spectacular moment because I saw the parts of me that I was working on manifesting in class.
There was flexibility with boundaries in place. There were challenges and a whole lot of positivity. I was able to be simultaneously creative and may I say, pleasantly pedantic.
This to me is the purpose of yoga. It is a practice and a lifestyle. We know how you move on the mat is how you move off the mat. How about embodying how you play is how you live.
Yoga with children at the orphanage is part of Self-Healing Journeys, a Reiki and Kundalini Yoga retreat in Nepal. The six-day retreat with a Level 1 certification in Reiki healing and daily Kundalini Yoga and meditation classes has everything I stand for, from upcycled yoga rugs handwoven by disadvantaged Nepalese women to accommodation at a mountaintop lodge practicing sustainable agriculture.