One of the coolest things about teaching kids yoga is being a kid yourself! The adult part of me plays and participates in the activities. My heart is playful and soft when I can express my youthful side. I was so that kid who could have benefited from yoga. I started wearing glasses at age 7, I had
/ADHD, I was (still am) left-handed, a middle-child, held back in the 4th grade, wore braces, started my period when I was nearly 15, attended boarding school and then lost my dad at age 20. Everything from a young age all the way until I was 22yrs old felt awkward.
I am not stating that this was negative. I just know I was different than everyone else. It’s a sigh of relief as an adult to understand and gather my purpose for being alive. Teaching kids yoga is the most rewarding and peaceful way for me to express my childhood.
I was so that kid who went from one brain activity to the next. If I wasn’t trying to gather information from the conversations in the living room, then I was either playing ‘school’ in my basement or rolling down the stairs backwards. I remember the first time I discovered how to roll down the stairs backwards in a contorted position. I was in the afternoon kindergarten class and in the morning I would practice my moves at home on the stairs. It was my warm up before kindergarten. Perhaps I was preparing myself to be present for class.
As a child I was always into some form of ‘other’ being. I had a scooter (not the motor kind) and I would ride a few blocks down the road to Wildwood Pool. I remember a peer making fun of me behind my back for doing this. I didn’t understand why riding my scooter to the pool was considered so freakish? I thought it was cool.
Experiences like this made me develop the feeling that I was an outcaste. As a teenager, I didn’t make cheerleading because of my lack of coordination and my double-jointed arms nor was I ever going to be the one crowned for homecoming queen, which thank goodness my boarding school didn’t nominate those things.
Feeling like an outcaste then lead me to feeling anxious and stressed. I never understood how this anxiety developed until later on down the line. I was afraid to be myself. Deep down I wanted to be this hippie chick who wore hippie clothes and nose rings. My anxiety and feeling of being different made me wear conservative preppy clothes. I knew I was cheating myself. I knew I was lying to the real me. I mean really, those who reallly knew me, knew I was a free spirit.
So in the 15 years of practicing yoga, I have developed an awareness of who I really am. In the past few years, I have totally dropped my baggage of feeling like an outcaste in my childhood. I have opened up and given myself the permission to be more eccentric.
I look back and see these qualities as gifts. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Being quirky has lead me to some of the most peaceful places within my soul.
It is a gift to share yoga to children. I wish to lead them to an awareness of themselves where they will never be afraid to be who they are meant to be.