It has been 2 years since I was full-time teaching yoga for kids and youth.
Let me tell you, the skill of teaching yoga to young people is completely different from teaching adults. Its one thing to teach a class where each participant has made the choice to be there, most likely paying to be there.
They listen, they do what I ask them to do. They will do it even if they want to grumble under their breath or dislike me for challenging them in moments of the class. Its how our minds work.
They are silent when its time to be silent, they laugh or at least fake it at my cheesy jokes. All in all, with the exception of a surprise toot or two, classes usually go by peacefully without much resistance or hesitation from students.
Kids however, not the same basket of biscuits. They will tell me when they are bored, Sometimes they yell it. In class Ive been spit at, told I’m stupid and so is yoga. Ive been frustrated, inspired to tears and even taught how to jerk. (its a dance move, google it) Nothing keeps me present like teaching young people because you can never predict what will happen, or stay on plan.
At one point in my class on Monday, we were all in Downward Dog and I asked the kids what a happy dog would do? We wagged our tails. What would a really tired dog do? We all laid down. Now what would a really excited dog do?
All of the kids got up, ran to the windows and started licking the windows. Im talking about big, sloppy licks and streaks of saliva everywhere. To be real, I’ve seen dogs do that so what can I say but “excellent job annnd return to your mats!”
A large part of my journey with L&W is to give back as I move forward. About 5 years ago I discovered a passion for providing underprivileged youth with practices to support self care and healthy life choices. Being of service in this way is what I need to do but to be completely honest with you, it doesn’t pay the bills.
So, the day came when life asked if I would stay in my routine or put some sweat into growing these seeds I planted many years ago. It’s a jump. It’s a leap into the unknown and it is quickly apparent; I would rather try and fail then not try at all. Even if there is one child who comes to class and brings the practice into daily life so they can breathe a little lighter; then this has been a success.
Surely there must be a way to create a life for myself of giving back to the community that raised me, and from here to our global community. I have a powerful foundation of training and experiential learning to support me in my pursuit, and since Im already teaching an incredible amount of very well attended adult yoga classes; I have a community thats ready to listen.
When I was a little girl I used to think about what 26 would look like. Its so grown up! Who I would be, what I would be doing with my life, and how I would make a difference in the world?
Limitations only live in my mind and I have the power of my imagination to shape my future. The time is now, and this is the start of something amazing.