Teaching Children's Yoga & My Yoga Story

Yoga is a very relevant topic to explore in the society of today’s children because it offers something nothing else can offer, a non-competitive outlet. Yoga also has many undeniable benefits that go along with it. Adults are reaping these benefits with great reward. It’s time we share this same outlet with our children today.

Growing up, I was never athletic. I wasn’t into sports. Having the height, but lacking the coordination only led to much embarrassment on the basketball court. Volleyball was no different. After one quick serve right into my teammate’s new braces, I decided competitive sports weren’t for me. It was embarrassing.

As we’ve all aged, embarrassment has become shorter lived and hopefully we have learned to laugh at ourselves.

I was a first grade teacher when I decided to take my first yoga class. If anybody needed stress relief, it was me. The studio was a few blocks from my house and offered plenty of class times before and after work.

I was not your typical “There is no way I can do that! I can’t bend like a pretzel! Yoga isn’t for me!” person. In fact, after seeing the happy, calm faces leaving the studio and hearing it was mostly a relaxing practice, focused on breath, I thought “No problem! I am an expert at relaxing and at breathing! Surely, I can do this!”

I bought a yoga mat and walked into my first yoga class. It was a level one class. What I didn’t know, was in this particular version of “level one”, the instructor would be verbalizing instructions for inversions at the midway point through class. I was glad that I had even survived to see to the midway point.

Three-fourths of the way through class, the instructor was adjusting my stance and asked softly, “Is something wrong with you?”

Horrified, I laughed out loud (a major no,no for any traditional yoga class) and then was relieved from the stares of the experts surrounding me, when the instructor laughed out loud too.  Before long, my downward dog had collapsed on the floor, in a mixture of pain, laughter and wounded pride.

My first yoga class taught me to laugh at myself. I will not be good at everything. I will make mistakes. I will keep trying.