Middle School Service Moments

— by Jodi Weiner

(notes from our 9 weeks with James Rickards Middle School April-June)

Yesterday’s class was certainly a different jammy jam than the week before – and that’s how it goes with each Yoga Gangsters outreach program. A smaller group – excited, eager and highly energetic. Our brilliant teacher vibed it all out and started with deep breathing + jumping up and down, yelling, laughter and even more. She is a powerful soul full of heart and we were all a changed as a result of watching her intuition kick in and serve all those youth well!

6 volunteers cleared their life aside for a couple of hours to give back to youth we can all identify with – MIDDLE SCHOOLERS. Ask around, not too many folks have fond memories of these days, self included! 6 beautiful servants of the heart showed up energetically, a little nervous and some amped ready to share some nuggets of wisdom.

As the program unfolded we witnessed the youth unable to find stillness through giggles, rolling around on the floor – teachers “talking much louder than yogis love to hear”, youth walking in and out of the space, volunteers stepping between “handsy” playfulness, youth walking in and out of the room; some late and realized they missed the “good stuff”. We watched them love the play of balance, the opportunity to yell LOUD, turning upside down and having the helping SUPPORTive hand of each Yoga Gangster in the room.

When one student said “you so annoying” to another student, a YG stepped in with “ Wait what, annoying? Ok, now let’s hear 3 positive things about her too! “she’s smart in class, great at reading, and smart in math”. “We can lift each other up with words or knock each other down, it’s a choice – we always have choices.” When we start to pay attention to the choices then we can figure out who we want to be.”

The class continued with drop back – back bends, wheels and some serious imaginary rope climbing and wrapped up with a beautiful 5 minutes of stillness with loving messages to their beautiful hearts

Siha Collins