“Today, you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is your than you!”
Needless to say since I let go of my fear of falling out of handstands in August, my inner child has been soaring. I have stars hanging from my ceiling made of popsicle sticks, I have glow in the dark butterflies and dragonflies on my walls, I giggle when someone toots, and I still dance around when I have to go #1.
Let’s just say because technically speaking, I am 26 years old with a university degree, with a 1 bedroom apartment and bills to pay – I am told I am an adult. So to ensure my inner child doesn’t get lost in the sea of adulthood, I have begun teaching yoga to kids and families.
At the second yoga session with my daycare class, one of the mother’s shared with me that her toddler had been having trouble sleeping the past few nights. After the first couple of nights of trying different techniques to soothe the toddler to sleep. The little boy rolled over in the bed and said to her:
Mommy, I think we need to do some yoga.
Sunbathing Balasana: This partner pose is wonderfully restorative for parent and child duos.
The parent takes a closed leg child’s pose; child sits facing the opposite direction, onto the pantline (near the sacrum, avoiding the low back), gently lies backwards onto the parents back, letting arms and legs hang towards ground.
Younger children will move (this is okay), encourage them to check in with their parent (base), making sure that it feels good. Also, breathing together, feeling the parent’s breath with encourage stillness.
The sun the sun,
I salute the sun.
I open my heart
One summer evening after teaching this to one of my favourite little 2 year olds, I received a text message from her momma, telling me that they had just found the little one practicing the sun salut in the playroom all on her own.
Four months later, she still knows that I’m the Aunty who teaches her yoga and parts of the sun salutation song.
Yoga classes provide children with a safe space to develop in a mindful, creative manner, giving them the freedom to be their own individual and unique selves. Kindness for others (ahimsa) and creating an open space for each child to have a voice and share is important.
All children are different, some have the upmost enthusiasm and others prefer to kick it back (sometimes way too back) in the class. Managing this can be a little tricky.
One Monday evening, the last class before the holidays, a very energetic 10 yr old was very excited and vocal about yoga. She had many stories to share, at every turn. To maintain a fair sharing space for all the children, I addressed the subject, by saying “I really appreciate your enthusiasm and energy today, if it is okay with you I would like to request for you to be mindful of the others in the room and provide them with some space to share their voice as well”. She, maybe a little disappointed, nodded and the class went on, with a little more room for everyone to be present and share.
At the end of the class, we wished happy holidays and said namaste.
Then, with a huge smile on her face, the little energetic missy said, laughing: “I’ll see you in a year! Do you get it? Because it will be a new year when I see you again!”.
I laughed, and she continued: “In the new year, I promise I won’t talk so much.”
From a couple little yogis.