Young people really are magical fairies of resilience, energy and JOY.
And last weekend I had the supreme pleasure to teach yoga to two amazing groups of young athletes for KEEN Oxford, a local charity that works with disabled young people in Oxford
I didn’t have too many preconceptions about what to expect from the athletes, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. There were young people there who were thriving with all sorts of disabilities.
The afternoon was split into two sessions, the first for 4-11 years and the second for 11-25 years. We played basketball and hockey: the energy was excited, loud and happy.
When it came time for yoga, the energy shifted from a busy, enjoyable chaos into a focussed hum of attention. When I realised that every athlete was able to participate and enjoy the movement of their bodies and the flow of their breath, it was an incredibly satisfying moment.
To be honest, the athletes’ disabilities were completely outshone by their incredible spirits — first and foremost it felt like teaching a group of kids and young people (they’re so flexible, putting us relatively “old” yoga teachers to shame!). Crowd favourites seemed to be tree pose, hamstring stretches like standing and seated forward folds, and big falling out breaths, where we let out huge sighs on our exhalations.
A big thank you to the athletes, coaches and organisers at KEEN (all amazingly dedicated volunteers) for having me, I’m so excited to come back at the end of term and see everyone again!