Thursday, November 16th, 2017
I’ve been fortunate enough to have the luxury to relax on the most beautiful beaches of Bali. Eat the most delicious meals that you can only find on this island. Dive in sites that people travel the world to visit. Attend ceremonies that would bring anyone closer to God. Stay in places that are so incredible they don’t even seem real. I am so damn grateful. But what’s better than all of that combined? The kids.
I was asked to lead yoga for kids and for a day, it became my life’s mission. The week prior, the yoga teachers were donated 100,000 rupiah (about $7) for new art supplies. One thing you’ll learn about Bali, and especially Amed, is that resources are very limited. Arts and crafts are impossible to find in this little town, aside from a little box of colored pencils. So on my way back from my trip to Immigrations, I stopped in Amlapura at what seemed to be the ONLY arts supply store in Bali. I was able to get a good amount of supplies, thankfully, and I was ready to make my “lesson plan.”
I made a list of easy yoga poses with their English names, as well as Indonesian names. Great way for me to learn Indonesian and for the kids to learn English. I made what I thought was a decent class and I. Was. STOKED.
The class is free for all kids and occurs every Wednesday at 4pm at Life in Amed, a hotel in Lean Village. I arrived at 2pm to prep and eat all the crafts ready. I walked to the Garden House and could see all the kiddos playing on the beach and once they saw me, they started shouting, “Yogaaaaa! Yogaaaa!” Welp, there went my early, calm prep time! They stood at the entrance hoping I would wave them in. I wasn’t about to deny help from kids! So I waved them in and they came RUNNING! This was going to turn into a 3-hour adventure! And I was so okay with it.
I’m (unfortunately) not around kids very frequently, so I was curious how I was going to handle a bunch of kids on my own who don’t speak English. I’ve never taught yoga, and I’ve never watched a gaggle of kids as the responsible adult. But I realized after two minutes that kids are self-sufficient. I didn’t have to keep an eye on all of them (except for the kid who kept saying “Banana!” and drew a you-know-what instead of a heart), I didn’t need to give them instructions, and I didn’t need to stress at all. The kids were going to do what they were going to do. Play.
We did cartwheels and handstands, we danced, and we had so much fun. At one point, a little girl found a bag with 4 little rhinestones. Once word got around that I was holding 4 rhinestones, EVERY KID wanted one.
“Shit. Who is going to get them? Which kids do I select? What do I do?!”
All the kids ran up with their arms outstretched, all saying, “Hello!” “Hello!” “Hello!” All hoping they’d be the lucky recipients. I would reply, “Sabar!” This is a handy word to know in Bali – it means patience. Then the little voice in my head said, “Turn this into a game. Throw them!” So I chucked rhinestones across the yard and they all went dashing, scavenging for them. I immediately thought of Easter, hunting for eggs. Fair is fair. Thank you, little voice!!
The yoga class lasted about 10 minutes because, well, they’re kids. So we continued with our crafts and it was not only one of the highlights of my time in Bali – it was one of the highlights of my life.
These kids have changed my life.