speak the same language.

Morocco_kidsOne of the highlights of our trip to Morocco was visiting a school, and getting to spontaneously teach the kids a little yoga! SUCH fun!

Our family stayed in Tighdouine, a tiny town in the middle of the Atlas Mountains, and a friend of our guide, Hamid, was a teacher at a school in Talatast, about 20 minutes drive away from Tighdouine (over a river & some seriously bumpy roads):

the bridge on our way to the school…

The kids were attending an after-school program..they were kids who wanted to be there, we were told…who wanted a bit more education. This is not a touristy town…they might get a few people through who are hiking through the mountains, but most of the kids don’t see strangers too often…so, our family was definitely a different sight to see.school_sign

The kids spoke primarily Amazigh (Berber), and then possibly Arabic, and maybe a tiny bit of French. They sang us songs (kids singing ALWAYS brings a tear to my eyes…does this happen to anyone else?!), the teacher told us about the school, and wrote our names in Amazigh on the chalkboard.

Amazigh names

They had questions…and we were thankful for interpreters! First, they wanted to know what kind of jobs we all had…and I thought for SURE they were going to ask my daughter about her hot-pink hair…but they all wanted to know more about yoga.

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I know how to say hello and thank you in Arabic. I can count in French, and I don’t know a drop of Amazigh…I was worried at first about not speaking the same language. But really…they just copied the moves that I made. They had no worries about doing the pose “right”…they know how to breathe, and could watch me demonstrate. The kids were so open to learning, and excited to try something new, it was absolutely heartlifting!

We were speaking the same language…that of yoga!

calming my mind.

featured_triangleI’m not much for the yoga selfie. My husband sneakily snapped this photo while we were on a hike…in the beautiful Dades Gorge in Morocco. What you don’t see, is what’s going on behind me. Both of my kids are climbing up a huge rock with the help of our guide. It’s horrifying to me. Truly. I couldn’t look…I tried to take some deep breaths…but nothing seemed to help.

See…this is them, with Yousef, our guide.

rock_dades

Then, I figured that I could do a mini-practice. A few standing poses, and my mind could let go of what my kids were doing, and focus on how my own body could get in to a trikonasana pose. I had a few factors to contend with: large gravel, uneven surface, chilly temperature, jeans (stretchy, but still jeans!), a big unwieldy sweater, a week of not practicing, no sticky mat, and a brain-full of nonsense (ie, “what if they fall”, “how is an ambulance going to get up here”, “what’s the number to the medi vac”, “IS there a medi vac?”).

I found that all I really needed to do was take a posture, focus on my breath, feel the fresh air wash over me, and be completely in the moment…I was in an amazingly beautiful spot, with my wonderful family, and could fit 5 minutes in for yoga. Inhale. Exhale.

The “what-ifs” left, my kids made it off the rock just fine, and I could be at ease the rest of our hike. Inhaling. Exhaling.

“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.” – His Holiness The Dalai Lama