Sharing yoga and mindfulness with kids has giving me so much more appreciation for the yoga practice.
Over the past couple years of being a kid’s yoga instructor I have been reminded of a few things:
- Give yourself permission to play
- Falling is fun when you have a good attitude about it and usually makes people laugh
- I can’t = I don’t want to
- Make everything your own and continue to express yourself (if you’ve observed children in a yoga class before, you’ll notice that they don’t really care what anyone else is doing and it’s very powerful)
- Be where you are without judgement (similar to #4)
Today I walked into a room full of kids who you would have thought snorted some pixie sticks before I walked in the room.
Bouncing off the walls (literally), running into each other, using their hands to claw each other, etc… you get the picture. It was a scary sight.
Although the class is only 30 minutes, I had to change everything I had planned for today because the energy did not match what I had in store. Instead of doing yoga poses (because there was too much injury in just the warm ups) we sat in a circle, turned down the lights, and read a book about meditation.
After this, they quietly went back to their mats like they were a different group of children.
Because the energy changed, we were able to finish with a few headstands (bribery at its finest). Finally, they laid down and had a nice relaxation.
Kid’s yoga is never what I plan for. It’s random and chaotic and it’s basically me performing like a clown or magician pulling things out of my bag to see what works.
Daily yoga practice is acting like a chemist for the energy of our own body and mind in that situation. It’s fun to see what works and what does not, and we learn. Some days we need a really long practice and some days we just need to sit down and be quiet for a long period of time.
This reminds me of yoga Sutra 1.2:
Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the Mind.
Yoga isn’t just poses. It’s breathing, moving with purpose, contemplating, being an observer of your own energy.