Olivia McGeever, 128 TCCS
Your mat is your mirror. I’ve heard this in almost every yoga class, read it in every Yoga Journal and I whisper it to myself at least a dozen times through each practice.
What you do or don’t do on your mat is a direct reflection of your life. The idea being, you put yourself in these stressful positions, and instead of fleeing, you say, “it’s okay, just breathe through it.” With only yourself to trust, you dive into the unknown, and maybe hold pigeon for ten seconds longer, and realize your hamstrings can take it.
I started teaching kids yoga in 2011, and it’s transformed my approach to yoga and meditation. I’ve learned the most about yoga through the kids I’ve taught. They’re flexible, present, and fearless. Instead of observing how a pose is done, they’re in it with you, moving as you move, often falling over, laughing, and stealing only a moment to catch their breath before trying again.
Yoga teaches us how to be individuals within a community. By teaching kids, you’re giving them a space that they get to explore the boundaries of their own strength, mind, and breath. Trusting them, allows them to trust themselves. They realize that everyone is different, and we all have something to offer. My kids remind me every day that yoga doesn’t have to be this serious endeavor, it’s about presence, loving your body and modeling the life you want on your mat.
I think Thais really nail it on the head when they say “Len yoga,” it’s play, it’s judgment free, and it’s sincere.
Kid Friendly Poses
- Mountain Pose
- Downward dog (have them bark!)
- Cobra (stick out your tongue and hiss)
- Cat and Cow (moo and meow)
- Happy Baby
- Plow and shoulder stand
- Partner poses (boat, dancer, tree)
I was certified through Kidding Around Yoga; they offer trainings all over the world. The website is a fabulous resource and the blog is a great read.