Why I Encourage Parents to Bring Their Kids to Yoga
By Heather Ivany • March 25th, 2014 • 5402 Views
As I sat in the back of the studio readying for the teacher to guide a yoga class, a woman and her young daughter softly rolled their mats out in front of me. My task was to take notes of the instructor’s words, poses and movements and use them as a training tool for when I taught my own classes. For the next hour my page remained blank and to this day I can’t recall anything she taught. It wasn’t that the level of instruction was weak or uninteresting but rather something more meaningful gathered my attention.
What I have in my memory is this beautiful imprint in of a woman quietly practicing yoga alongside her daughter who looked to be around the age of eleven. I knew that she was a teacher at the studio and recently divorced. Aside from the mother's own grief she was also nourishing the threads between herself and her daughter.
The story that I witnessed was of the two of them side by side sharing a common space while at the same time appreciating their own practice. They layered a dialogue without words. The lines of parent and child blurred and both entered a relationship where they were equal. They gave and absorbed each other's energy and visibly became lighter than when they had entered the room. As the class drew to a close and they were lying quietly on their backs in silence, the daughter reached out her hand and the mother cradled it with her own. They remained like this until time was up. Healing each other from the inside out.
In the words of Kahlil Gibran, “ Your children are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.” We sometimes forget that our children can be our greatest teachers. When I teach yoga to children I observe many incredible things. Kids fall and get back up. They allow for freedom to laugh at themselves and they try hard things. Oftentimes I have kids wanting to set themselves up in Savasana (final rest) before the class is over. They haven’t yet adopted the ‘push’ mentality and see the time to rest as a pleasure rather than a waste of time.
Having children practice with peers is a great way to ease kids into the yoga studio but why not use a yoga class as another outlet...