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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 56 there as part of the orphanage’s vulnerable children’s program. She was shocked by the conditions: the rooms reeked of unwashed, neglected bodies, and in the winter broken windows let in the bitter cold. The most basic necessities, beyond food and a bunk, were not met. There was very little human touch, Molly says, and frustration and hopelessness darkened the prison-like environment. She was given a chance to work with the boys but saw only glimpses of the girls, who seemed to be confined to their dormitory rooms. Molly began practicing yoga twice a week with two groups of boys, using tradi- tional techniques in playful, simple, and interactive ways. They practiced in their dormitories, where twenty-four bare bunk beds lined the walls of each identical room. The boys took immediately to yoga with bright, energetic smiles. They were always on time and jumping with enthusiasm before class. At first they seemed to be responding to the activity, the fun, and the human touch and physical contact that Molly brought to the program, but little by little Molly noticed changes in their ability to focus. At the end of each yoga class the children were calm, cen- tered, and content, and the changes migrated out of class into their daily life, where other staff noticed more positive, kind, and caring behavior in the students JULY 52-57.indd 56 JULY 52-57.indd 56 4/25/08 11:41:30 AM 4/25/08 11:41:30 AM