I did yoga with the tweens today. My plan was to start them in child’s pose to literally create a physical hideaway where they could ideally calm down and forget about everyone else’s presence. But no WAY. It was too sudden a transition from the chatty casual teen center atmosphere and no one would keep their heads down. So I switched gears and got them on their feet and doing something loud and silly-looking—sen channel stimulation (patting up and down the arms, Kira’s latest thing). It also happens to be a nice, untechnical thing to do and they didn’t have to be so STILL which helped.
Then they seemed to really want to show off the yoga poses and stupid human tricks they thought were yoga. They were excited and suitably impressed at each other’s talents so we played a little while at that. Even I showed off a headstand and I think that gave me some cred.
One of the girls, Savanna, said she knew a sun salutation so I had her come up to lead it. Savanna taught us her magical sun salutation and she, through her laconic instructions and sweet smile that gave no hint of how long she was keeping us in each position, set a nice quiet atmosphere. I have to say she is the most adorable yoga teacher I have ever had.
I took over again and did cat/cow by popular demand because the girls love anything where they can stick their butts out, then I showed them pigeon (they were all utterly inflexible at this so I put a couple of them in seated hip-openers instead), wide-angled forward bend, and bridge. I also gave into the temptation to do wheel just because I knew they’d be impressed.
And of course, we ended with corpse. A universal favorite.
I saw somewhere that when teaching yoga to kids you have to give them a reason to do it besides fitness. So I talked about what’s been alive for me lately in my practice, which is the attempt to find my own heart and express it in the poses and in life. I couldn’t tell if they were connecting with that idea but they certainly listened at least. And I was strangely thrilled to be sharing something so personal and true with them.