Working with kids can be very entertaining and rewarding, especially if you pay close attention to the details, because they certainly do. Despite their fidgeting and tangential storytelling, children are sponges that often absorb much more than you realize. Yoga only reinforces their natural tendency towards mindfulness and attention to detail.
Over the summer I was teaching kids yoga at a summer program. I was wearing Toms shoes and I noticed that one of the little boys was also wearing that brand. I pointed it out to him but didn’t get much of a reaction. Before we entered the studio, we all took off our shoes and left them outside the studio, and I took mine off first and went in to start the class. A few minutes later I looked back at the line of shoes and noticed that the boy had placed his own Toms neatly on either side of mine.
Another kids yoga teacher who I work with had been teaching at a certain school for a while and she always used lavender essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle to spritz the kids’ hands at the end of class. I began using the same technique and later took over her teaching job at the school. The first time I used the spray there a little boy who had been taking yoga with the other teacher sniffed his hands and exclaimed, “It smells like yoga!”
Occasionally a new little yogi will just sit quietly on his or her mat instead of participating, probably due to shyness or unfamiliarity with the routine. But inevitably the child’s parents will report that the same child started doing down dogs and saying “namaste” all the time at home.
So you see, children observe and retain so much of what goes on around them. By paying attention ourselves to their surroundings and purposefully placing them in positive environments, we can foster this natural tendency and create a better generation for the future.
Although now yoga is part of my daily routine and my career as well, there was a time in a former life when I worked a desk job like many of you do now and felt like there was no time for working out. And although I have been blessed with not having had to struggle with weight issues, there was also a time when that sedentary lifestyle put a few more pounds on my 5’3″ frame than I was comfortable with. But any time I tried to “diet” or exercise in order to lose weight or get fit, inevitably my motivation faltered and I got little to no results. However, once I delved deeper into yoga and really started getting excited about it, my weight naturally stabilized and I felt healthier and more energetic. You see, once my motivation came from within, the internal fire of tapas, or discipline, was ignited. Instead of watching the numbers on a scale go down, I was determined to make it through an entire class without skipping a chaturanga. Instead of forcing myself to work out a certain number of times a week, I was motivated to practice more often because I wanted to nail that new pose that I couldn’t do last time. So maybe yoga isn’t your thing and you only do it because it’s good for you. That’s fine, but I encourage you to try to find that thing that does excite you. Maybe it’s walking an extra mile or lifting ten more pounds. Whatever floats your navasana, it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s yours. Norman Sjoman said, “What makes something yoga is not what is done, but how it is done.” Anything done mindfully, with both discipline and compassion, that connects mind, body, and spirit, and can be done with a smile is yoga.
Hello everyone! Welcome to my website. Here you can find information about me, the classes I teach, and my availability for private adult and kids yoga classes. I will also be periodically blogging about yoga related topics and my experiences teaching.
The divine light in me recognizes and honors the same within you, namaste.