I've seen the visible transitions of my classes as school gets more intense. There is a weariness that shows on their faces sometimes. The verbal recognition of this is expressed in words " I'm tired", " School was hard". The most obvious sign is their wanting to play. They run into the studio, cartwheeling or reaching for a hula hoop and they begin to play. Joyously so. They don't want serious Aunty Dio attempting to strengthen their backs and spines and sharing the physical benefits yoga. Bah Humbug. 100% fun and relaxation is what they are there for. Weave downward dog into a game and they are all in. Except for the time a little girl said "Hmm this sounds familiar, are we doing sun salutations in smart?" Lol twice.
When did we start creating boundaries around fun. Enough fun , time to get serious were words we heard from teachers, parents, and other authority figures. The messages that turned into barriers to joy as adults that with some guilt we journey to overcome. I think it began when we felt our responsibility was to moderate the joy of life in order to be set on the proper path to adulthood. We wanted to be good adults and we modelled all that we had seen over the years. There are amazing benefits to yoga practice for children. Google will easily supply you with an adequate listing.
My journey however is turning into how to weave joy into my classes, so intricately that they receive the full benefits of the practice but more importantly that their capacity for joy and fun is never diminished. It means reaching out to my own inner child and bringing her to class alongside Aunty Dio so that together we are all blessed by the gift of Yoga and the gift of Joy and make them both one and the same.
Celebrating your essence, revealing your humanity