This Inspirational Teenager Teaches Yoga To Refugee Children

Kabir Samlal , 20 Oct 2016

15-year-old Kabir Samlal is on the quest to make the world a better place, especially for the millions of refugees that war has created… especially the most vulnerable and innocent: children. Read his story about The War Child event held in Rotterdam, an amazing initiative by someone so young. 

Kabir Samlal
Kabir Samlal

Everything is connected; things you do and also things you don’t. Karma suggests that what you do now, good or bad, positive or negative, will affect your next life. So your present life is the result of your deeds in your previous lives. Sometimes, things go awry despite maintaining a positive attitude. Does that mean that you have bad karma? You could also be simply unfortunate.

‘Karma yoga’ is a term that is sometimes used for yoga as a voluntary activity. I know some teachers in the US who teach the homeless, prisoners, and poor children. The refugee crisis drew my attention, because of how it victimized many children. Imagine having to run and leave everything behind because there is a sudden war in your country. Like many others, I also wanted to do something to help the refugees. So I began teaching yoga to refugee children.

It is beautiful to see how the kids participate with enthusiasm and how they grow with each session. I also noticed that they enjoy being taught by a teenage teacher – someone they can perhaps better relate to. In between the sometimes difficult postures, we also chat about what they want to become when they grow up. Last summer, I conducted an outdoor yoga class for War Child in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the second time. This year’s class followed the theme, “Open your heart”. Usually, we tend to sit with our backs bent while looking at our computer screens or cell phones. Specific heart-opening postures such as ‘cobra’ will help you sit and stand straight with your chest out and shoulders back. Adhering to better postures will result in self confidence. Feeling good about yourself will in turn make you more compassionate about others.

The majority of the yoga class was spent in discussing how fortunate we all are, and that we should be thankful and appreciate the fact that we don’t have to face a war situation daily. We opened our hearts for those who are less fortunate… and that has nothing do with their karma!


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