Week two of the after school yoga program with the relocated kids from Puerto Rico was a bit more challenging than the first week, but I feel like I’m finding my footing with the group. Two very high-energy boys joined us; and asked repeatedly when we were going to play tag :) The boy with the huge brown eyes, who was tired and sad the first week but still sat in the circle, wouldn’t join the circle this time; he sat at the back of the room against the wall. He said “I don’t like this!” (I asked him what he likes, and he said “nothing.”) I sat with him for a few minutes, and asked him to join us when he was ready; he just shook his head and stayed where he was.
I found some great group activities like “pass the cool clap” from this wonderful book, “Everyday SEL in Elementary School,” by my friend Carla (I HIGHLY recommend it if you work with young kids in any capacity). We had to work together to beat the clock, and the kids loved it.
We also repeated a few things that worked well the first week: my songs “The Shimmy,” and “Dance for the Sun,” breathing with the Hoberman sphere, yoga freeze dance, and of course a rest, during which several kids fell sound asleep, even though we were in a cavernous, loud room with a play rehearsal happening within earshot.
I can feel the rawness in some of them. They’ve just been through too much. I’m glad we have four more weeks. Baby steps.