Two things have been keeping me busy during lockdown. Number 1 is technology. I don't know how you spell the feeling of frustration and bewilderment that has accompanied getting my head around things that should be easy! Number 2 is yoga for kids. Every Friday since Easter we have done a free Zoom class for primary school kids. When I say we, I mean me, Aoibhín, Toby and Theo (as pictured). There were times when I thought, "oh why am I doing this?!" but my kids genuinely loved it so I kept going. I started to take it a bit more casually and have fun with it, dressing up and playing.
Then we were approached by SSE Airtricity to video some classes for their Eco Explorers Club. The excitement! We were going to be on You Tube! Like Joe Wicks!
The first of five videos went live this week and that went a long way towards motivating the kids to shoot video number 2. To be honest they have been so good and so cooperative with all of this. Even when we had to reshoot a video because I forgot to turn on the mic or because we couldn't stop the giggles.
I started training to teach yoga to kids in 2015 when Aoibhín was 2 because we did a couple of classes in Blackrock library and I was surprised at how well she took to it. She even lay down calmly for savasana.
I loved the teacher training which was led by the lovely Melissa Curtis in The Elbow Room. I learned so much about the importance of keeping kids moving and mindful. Just simple but fascinating things about the importance of physical play versus screen time.
Then I went out and tried to actually teach kids yoga. OMG! The first few months I would come home and lie on the couch exhausted, wondering how do teachers do it? All day?!
Teaching kids yoga is completely different to teaching adults in many ways. It's exhausting! You have to entertain and surprise. You have to be on the ball. You have to do every move. They don't listen to what you're saying. They just do what you're doing. Valuable life lesson there!
But the rewards are amazing. Every now and again a child will tell me how it makes them feel or where they went in savasana and wow! I have had to fight the tears at times. Other times I'm laughing at the crazy cute stories. Kids are so mindful and so so creative. It's right there just under the surface. They just need a prompt and their imaginations take off. But they will lose that ability if they're not given a chance to play with it. I did!
Yoga with your child is a gorgeous way to bond with them - whether that is in falling over in a balance pose, working a partner pose together or giving them a massage at the start of savasana.
They are little for such a short time. These opportunities are precious. We need to take them.
We still do our Friday yoga every week at midday. Why not join us?