Yoga Journal Blog: Cambodia Yoga Challenge


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Visits to CCF Community Center and CCF 6 by Adi Carter

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Today we were went in smaller groups to the various CCF locations to play with the kids and participate in school classes such as dance, reading, arts & crafts, music and of course, yoga. My group started at the CCF Community Center, located about half a mile down the road from the garbage dump. Today was a particularly polluted day in terms of air quality and we were greeted with a thick smog in the air that you could taste in your mouth. We all forgot about it though as soon as we got out of the car and were greeted by 4, 5 and 6 year olds jumping on us, climbing our legs, swinging from our arms and hugging & kissing us. I have never felt such overwhelming, unconditional love. We played with them in their class rooms- coloring was particularly popular and we also had the joy of staying for lunch and watching them get food all over the place. As they settled in for naps it was precious to see all of these little bodies line up next to each other, smiling and waving at you before they fell asleep.

After a brief afternoon break at the hotel (showers are a much appreciated experience after having kids wipe their noses on your bare shoulder) we headed out to CCF 6 to meet some of the older kids ranging in age from 7 to 10. As we walked to the back courtyard I noticed 2 posts set up for a laundry line and knew that the slackline would finally serve its purpose. As soon as I pulled it out of the bag I had at least 15 curious kids surrounding me and before I knew it the staff had brought out mattresses to put underneath for safety. The kids went nuts for it with over 60 kids gathered around watching and cheering for their friends as they took turns balancing different yoga poses on the line with each of us helping them to take the first step.

After slacklining we walked up stairs sitting in on a music class before heading up to the roof top to teach a sunset yoga class. Teaching yoga to kids is always a test of patience- throw in a language barrier and you are stuck demonstrating everything and making crazy animal sounds to relate to them. They were some of the best students- listening with big eyes and sitting quietly during demonstrations of any AcroYoga or partner poses. Pyramids and partner downdogs were so fun to watch as they started to make every partner balancing pose, into a moving partner pose- something I had never thought about before. As the sun set, we sat in a circle and a sweet girl looked at the pendant on my neck which said "love". She spent some time flipping it over and feeling it in her hands before she looked at me and said " I love you" and then giggled, reminding me that the motivation for the greatest journeys is always rooted in unconditional love.

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Comments

This sounds so wonderful! I am a Yoga teacher, I also teach Kid's Yoga. How can I be a part of this fantastic program??

Unconditional love casts out all fear! This shows clearly in the experience of this Yoga Team and the children/youth in Cambodia. I'm in awe of all the stories and entries where such suffering, pain, illness, or trauma is mentioned, but the outcome is a testimony to love--how love heals!
Thank you for being the love. The yoga and the "work" you do would not be possible without it.

What a wonderful adventure, what wonderful meaning and what wonderful stories you are bringing to us all. It reminds me that while there are places in the world we don't wish to think about and we have mindsets towards..... all places are beautiful, all people are beautiful and yoga can be the common thread that unites all of us!

THANK YOU.....



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