Today we had our second workshop with the Al Mansouri school. When we arrived we found quite a number of the children waiting outside the hall we were to have our workshops in. It seemed that they wanted to join, but many were told to go back to their respective class rooms. We were left with some very sweet young girls and boys, and some of the older girls who had joined the workshop the day before. The workshop started off as usual, with icebreakers. I helped coordinate some of the games with a small group of girls who were a little shy at first but were soon participating quite happily in both the name and tangle games. This was followed by a short meditation. The children sat cross-legged on the floor and followed the different steps of our meditation. The hall was remarkably quiet for that age. When asked what they felt after the workshop they replied they felt relaxed and happy and at the end of the workshop one young boy volunteered to show us what he had learned. He came and stood before all his schoolmates and demonstrated the different motions we go through to get to the state of relaxation and thoughtlessness, which he had correctly remembered! (So adorable!)
This workshop was followed with a workshop for some older boys. They had much more energy than the younger students, so we played some more active team building games. After the tangle game we played hands and feet, in which the students have to work in groups of three to complete the challenges given by one of our members. This exercise worked really well and the boys were excitedly participating in their respective groups. This was followed by meditation. Like the previous group they sat crosslegged on the floor as they followed the meditation instructions. The boys sat in silence for a while at the end of the exercise and some told us they felt very relaxed and safe during the meditation. We ended the workshop by performing an energetic Indian bhajan which the boys enjoyed and clapped along to. Then it was time for the boys to leave to their next class but not before they quickly managed to snap a few selfies with various members of M2R, whom they had befriended during the workshop.
We then headed out to eat at a local restaurant where we had some amazing hummus and shish kebab in wraps! We then headed home to practice for the concert that we would be having the next day.