I wrote about Tara Rachel Jones’ generous donation before I left for Burma. Ten copies of her book, It’s Time for Yoga, joined the packages of markers, pens, papers, and pencils in the big black duffel bag.
The day that we put the markers and pens out for coloring, we also put copies of Tara’s book on each table. As the girls came pouring into the hall that day, they immediately gravitated to the books, one girl opening it, and the rest surrounding her in an orderly circle as they looked at the pictures. So many poignant moments.
There is a simple Vinyasa flow chart early in the book, and the girls stopped on that page to study it, chatting excitedly about the postures. As the hour progressed, girls began to color and read, alternating between the two. Organically, some girls colored the mandalas, some created their own pictures copying pictures from Tara’s book:
And others opened each page of Tara’s book and did the postures.
Here was another time that I stared in amazement, iPhone in hand, and teared up. I knew our gifts of art supplies and Tara’s book would be appreciated, but nothing prepared me for the girls’ hunger for this.
With the beauty of real time, I sent Tara videos and pictures in that very moment. Of course Tara said, “I wish I’d sent more for each girl. How many girls are there?” My reply? “I’m not sure, 300 or so, but it’s ok. They instinctively share seamlessly.”
Each time we all return to Burma, we will take duffels of art supplies, whether it’s back to the same monastery or new ones, for that is one of our intentions… to spread yoga to more nuns in Burma! It’s all about intentions!
And in the closing of this post, I’m sending love and prayers to Tara and her family as they face such a heartbreaking loss. As we were celebrating the gifts of Tara’s talented story telling, artistry and connection to children, she was dealt one of the unthinkable tragedies life can challenge us with. Please find some solace as you imagine the nuns sending you one of these enveloping squeezes.