“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” – Goethe
How Yoga Taught Me One Valuable Lesson I Will Never Forget
I vividly remember my first yoga class. I was in my early thirties and the midst of teaching kindergarten, earning my master’s degree, parenting three young children, and training hard for triathlons and marathons in the early morning so I could fit it in. There wasn’t any “off season” or down time. I just kept doing what I knew.
My body was tired. My mind was tired. My hormones were depleted, and I completely stopped menstruating. I couldn’t sleep at night and found myself short and impatient with those I loved most. I was pushing myself so hard, but I didn’t know where to give.
Finally, my body told me it had enough. After getting a labral tear from pushing myself to the limit during a half marathon, I was forced to take time off from running. It was either that or have hip surgery to repair the tear, and that was something I wasn’t ready to face.
Without the running, I felt a loss. Running gave me those powerful endorphins and made me feel strong and capable. As I look back, it also caused me a lot of stress because of the pressure I put on myself. I felt discouraged.
As I stepped into my first yoga class, I was apprehensive. I prided myself on being busy, active, and energetic, and yoga seemed so still and quiet. As I quickly learned, though, it was so much more than that.
Yoga opened up a whole new world full of things to learn and poses to try. It made me feel like a kid – uninhibited, unburdened, and ready to try it all. After my weekly Sunday evening yoga class, I couldn’t wait to show my children everything I had learned. They would try it all right along with me.
The first times I held Crow Pose, Side Crow and finally a headstand were exhilarating. I didn’t know adults could do those things! Yoga made me feel strong, energetic and happy. So happy, that I knew, I needed to share this with others besides my family.
How Yoga Taught Me to Feel Like a Kid Again
With my teaching background and love of kids, I knew how amazing it would be to bring the best of both worlds together and teach yoga to kids. I wanted kids to learn the same poses as adults but in a fun, active, and energetic ways. I began writing themed lesson plans and creating yoga games that would appeal to children.
In my kid’s yoga classes, we become superheroes, have adventures in the jungle, and learn about seasons and holidays through yoga. We are becoming fit, flexible and focused, but in a kid-friendly environment and child-like ways.
Yoga is fun and playful. These kid yoga classes energize me, and I am right in there with the kids, growling like a lion in Cat Pose or falling like a snowflake during our Sun Salutations. Gone is the burdensome and heavy feeling of training properly and the concern about injuring myself. I feel light-hearted and happy introducing kids to yoga, and I know they are having fun learning and doing it as well!