a couple years ago, i volunteered to teach yoga and mindfulness to elementary schools in my district. when the coordinator shared the announcement that i (and a fellow yoga teacher friend) would be offering 30-minute sessions for 4 weeks, she was met with overwhelming requests from teachers who were eager to introduce these calming, focusing practices into their classrooms. that spring, i was able to teach about 45-50 kids in 3 classrooms at 2 different schools.
since then my focus of my programming has been rooted deeply in the call for spiritual self-care that fosters compassion, skillful understanding, authentic connection and healing justice. and, as such, focused on serving adult practitioners.
i had oodles of fun co-creating adventures–stretching our imaginations into silly stories and bodies into silly shapes–and teaching my new little friends to wake up the bell and to listen closely to the sound as it faded.
the joy in sharing this practice with children for as little as 20 minutes: the sweet connection that develops when we offer them our attention, care, smiles, laughter, and the freedom to make a contribution. bursting with energy and kindness, they helped arrange, reset, and roll up the mats; fed me snacks; hung out with me between sessions — sticking close by as i enjoyed a chair massage (where i could hear the middle of 4 siblings explain that she was waiting for ‘my yoga teacher’); and even took over my camera to get silly with the selfie stick and snap a dozen random photos!
when we nourish kids with the gift of our compassionate listening and empower them with mindfulness, they will shine.