Taking care of ourselves is essential to staying motivated and optimistic, which we and our students know is key to being successful. At LEC we strive to develop healthy habits within our students by offering care to our holistic selves, honoring the deep connection between our minds and bodies. Energizing one would not be possible without equally energizing the other.
Approaching movement and strength with an introspective lens is remarkably therapeutic. Our classes encourage our women to (re)discover the power inside them and build the resiliency to own it. Through yoga and AVIVA we develop physical strength and breathe in fresh air. In dance classes we explore moving our bodies in different ways, learning about ourselves with each step. We have visited gardens to learn to care for our bodies with natural medicine, practiced basic modern medical treatments and explored the basics of nutrition through a South Indian lens. Learning to take care of themselves physically has often encouraged emotional nourishment in our students as well.
Practicing play throughout our day at LEC unveils another side to our students that is sometimes hard to find — joy! Our space at LEC is safe for women to move and feel themselves in ways they might not be able to elsewhere. You can find smiles and laughter in any of our classes. Exercising power in movement and gaining an understanding of self-care has helped our students feel more confident, allowing them to relax, enjoy and just be.
Responding to the Root
In the early days of LEC we noticed our students were physically weak and lacked coordination, a consequence of spending the majority of the day indoors, malnourishment and lacking a positive outlook in life. Introducing the children to games and playtime offered them an opportunity to move with freedom and gain strength. Today, our women face similar issues. From a young age girls can be fed less than boys and receive lower standards of healthcare. Women can be discouraged from practicing sports, leading to a sedentary lifestyle, one that is especially passive if a woman is largely confined to her home. Our students today have also noticed how their diets have changed as a result of India’s industrialization — mainly because local, healthier foods are harder to obtain than manufactured and processed products — and that their bodies have reacted poorly. Our students who are mothers are also interested in learning best parenting practices so they can raise their children in a healthy manner as well.