YAMA Teacher Feature: Pacsy Lam

Pacsy is one of YAMA Foundation's teachers who has been with the organisation since its humble beginnings. She shares her personal story of how she came on this path:

Yoga and My Beloved Younger Brother

by Pacsy Lam

"During the time when I took Integral Hatha Teacher Training, I never thought of teaching yoga for children with special needs.  Or, I should say, I didn't even know that Yoga for the Special Needs Child existed.  I am grateful to have taken Yoga for the Special Child training course conducted by Sonia Sumar, here in Hong Kong.  With the set up of YAMA Foundation, it gave me more chance to connect with kids who have special needs or special circumstances.  Here, I sharpen myself further in teaching children suffering terminal illnesses and advanced stages of cancer at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Trust.  

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When working with these kids, "Fearlessness" and "Connection" are the crucial attributes I use; and they are planted in my DNA during the interaction with my younger brother.

My first contact with a child with special needs, was my beloved younger brother who was diagnosed "Mentally Retarded" [how they called it at the time] at the age of two years. He grew up in a family flooded with love and care. My mom and I together were in charge of his personal care and organised all his school activities.  During his four years in boarding school, we got familiar with his friends and had good connection. To me, they are of no different but just more emotional expressive and simple.  During weekly visit, his friends would come over and greet, grab the food, giving me hug. The would drool, with saliva all over the place, my face, my hand and my clothes … such a amazing connection.  (Yes! They did the same every week.) 

My younger brother is no longer with me but he is always in my memory during the time I serve special kids.  I always told my mom that it was him who brought me to this path and sent me here to serve. I understand the frustration of these special kids because they can’t express by words nor actions,  they can’t do what they want to do, they need lots of love, attention and care; they need pampering, and they need people to understand them.

Although some of them may have a weak physical body, they are strong in heart. All these amazing qualities I learned from my beloved younger brother.  Children with special needs (like all children really) are hungry for love and care.  All these beautiful experiences are fueling me to continue to work with these wonderful kids, and it feels so natural.

At our yoga classes, all the children absolutely love the Hari Om chanting as it generates a lot of good energy. They cannot chant each word clearly nor the rhythm, but their voices are stunning.  When we meditate, I find the practice amazing: the children mindfully whisper ‘Peace begins with me’ with eyes closed and fingers moving. Just like you and I, we all need inner peace and quiet moment. 

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I’m so meditative when I teach yoga to the children, that all my worries and upsets are gone. I just can see all the happy faces in front of me:  those kids face much more difficulties than me,  physically, emotionally and mentally. They struggle to survive everyday, so as their parents.  My issues feel tiny compared to theirs, why bother?  Most of them are chronically ill that their issue is on life and death.  They are warriors, they are heroes.  I am their yoga teacher but they are my Life Coaches, I learn the wisdom of life: always be content and grateful, treasure every single moment and the beloved ones.

It’s a pity I cannot conduct Yoga for my beloved younger brother, but he is always with me during the practice. I love him and miss him forever!!!

Thanks YAMA Foundation for giving me that chance to serve and recall my good memory with him.  Do hope more special needs kid can come across yoga and we learn from each other. "

THANK YOU PACSY FROM YAMA FOUNDATION