I had already taught 2 classes, been bitten by a slobbery baby, gotten my hair pulled, braided, and tied in knots, and it’s my last kids yoga class of the day- I’m out. I finally get all the kiddos to make a circle (ten minutes later) when I feel a little hand grabbing my leg. I go to brush the hand away so I could teach, a little annoyed, and then saw the culprit.

A little boy with cerebral palsey stood next to me, looking up lovingly, leaning on me for support to do yoga with the rest of the class. There’s no way I can brush away his small, uncertain hand away- I immediately fell in love and embraced this hand, determined to make it work.

This little guy, who I later learned was named Azola, did every pose I taught, hanging on to my leg. We went through child’s pose, he peaked at me with big bright eyes, smiling for approval between outstretched arms. He did tree pose with a firm grip on my pants, even downward dog on one hand and the other elbow, beaming the whole time. Never doubt the intelligence or capability of anyone.

I held back tears throughout the entire class, touched by his spirit and his determination. I am shown strength and perseverance where I least expect it, occasionally in big moments, and frequently in little ones, like being a silent support for a child with cerebral palsey. I gently pried Azola’s hands from around my leg at the end (broke my heart a little) leaving the class with a little more compassion, and a lot more kindness than I walked in with that day.

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