Friday, February 22, 2013

The Kids Are Alright: Yoga at Little Sun People

Yoga is for the Kids!

This yoga journey continues to take me places that I never thought I would land.  When I went to school last October I really just thought that after graduation I would find some willing grown ups to take my classes and call it a day. I had no intention at all of young teaching children.

I don't have any kids of my own and as much as I love them, I know they can be tough.  What I mean is that kids are honest. So if you are not doing something correctly or to their standards they will let you know with the quickness.  LOL! 

Soon after graduation my friend Dez approached me about teaching yoga with her and her sons pre-school in Bed-Stuy.  I was hesitant at first, but I remembered what my teachers Devarshi and Megha said when I was at school. When you are asked to teach, say YES!  So I did just that.

It took about a month or so to get things going, but last week Dez and I jumped it off. Neither of us has specific training to do yoga with children, but yoga is yoga.  So I started asking other teachers who work with children on how to approach it.  I got some good tips here and there and then Dez and I just dove in the water.

One saving grace is that Dez's son is at the school so she no stranger to the kids and teachers. That helps A LOT.  The second saving grace is just the kids themselves.  They are really amazing! I am learning so much about what children can and cannot do and they are just full of love and hugs every time I walk though the door. You can't be mad at that. 

We are teaching ages 2, 3, 4 & 5.  My first thought was, what in the world am I going to do with a 2-year old?  Do they really even need yoga? Kids are so good at taking care of themselves and making it really clear what they are feeling unlike adults who are all knotted up inside and out. Also would they be able to follow directions? Will without getting into too much detail I will say that I am shocked at how well my 2 and 3-year olds are doing. Not not all of them can sit still, but they do follow directions. It's sort of amazing to see. They breathe in when I tell them too, they do Downward Dog, Mountain Pose and more.  I later found out from another friend whose son is in my class that he came home and showed them his poses. Yes he's 2!  He'll be 3 in the spring, but really?? Amazing! I knew my 4 and 5-year olds would surely understand me and most of them are so excited. Others are getting there, but all in all I'm just wowed by them.

It's a challenge sometimes to get them to understand that yoga is about being quiet and going in, but some are right there.  We have even gotten them to do savasana.  Did I say I'm amazed?

This is only week 2 and we have the rest of the semester to go.  Dez and I are still getting our sea legs so to speak so if you have any advice out there please pass it along. I have always been the type of person that will take a risk or jump into the deep end before looking to see if there are sharks in the water so bring it on! I ain't scared! Well...maybe a little. LOL!

After being with them for two weeks I understand why Airborne was invented. Snotty noses everywhere!  So I'll keep my immune system up and keep spreading the joy of yoga to the kids.  Who knows, maybe I am part of raising a more peaceful, balanced, happy generation of kids.  Who knows...