We give gifts in many ways. Often it is money or goods. For us here in Vietnam it is that and more. We find ourselves most often giving our talents, skills, labour and of course our love.
Our daughter Hamsa Eliza, a qualified yoga teacher and yoga therapist has been dedicating her skills and guidance to the staff of Reaching Out by teaching yoga classes.
They started with five days a week, but now have reduced the classes to three days a week to prevent teacher AND participant burn out.
There is such enthusiasm for the classes, even though the spaces are small and the heat intense. Here we are in the court yard of the Reaching Out craft shop. This is a mixed class of able bodied participants, although some are speech and hearing impaired. Another class, which addresses the needs of wheelchair users meets in this same court yard.
None of the employees had ever practised yoga and at first they were pretty shy about participating. Now, however, after only a little over a week, they are all eager students and have even reported early benefits to their backs. Eliza says that there are now big smiles of recognition and enjoyment as the classes proceed.
The idea is that they will be able to take breaks throughout the day to relieve the stress of repeated upper arm movements to embroider, stitch, craft jewellery etc. By the time of our departure in another week and a half, Eliza will have given them several, easy to practise routines. A video is being filmed to remind them of the sequences.
Two classes are held in the afternoons at the Reaching Out Tea House where 90% of the participants are speech and hearing impaired. Perhaps it is their lovely ao dai uniforms, which flow in the breeze (of a fan to help cool the "studio" down) or the graceful sense of movement that these women have, but these classes are beautiful to watch. Silent, graceful with joyous countenances including the instructor's.
Eliza has remarked on how lovely it is to teach the Reaching Out team. She will leave the gift of healthier bodies and peaceful minds.