As I sit to write this I am grinning ear to ear because my heart could not be more full of love, joy, pride and awe. This morning, I was honored to have two of MY girls (and when I say My I mean students of mine) for over four years teach a full on yoga class to a group of 14 students at the Ivivva Store In Dunwoody Village.
This is an offshoot of Lululemon stores for girls and they too offer free yoga classes to their community of girls 5 and up. I along with a lot of my other Grounded friends have taught there over the last several months as our little city is used as a test site for this store. When I taught there several months ago I had the thought, now this is a place where my White Bandana girls could actually teach. I contacted the store manager and she was on it.
I reached out to the parents of the girls and they were a bit unsure but I assured them that their girls were ready. So a few nights ago I went over to their home to help them plan a class. They, along with some pose cards, chips and posters sat and wrote a great sequence for back to school. As I sat and listened to them brain storm and write down laughter poses, milkshake laughter “ because it is everyone’s favorite”; breathing poses, because those “are great for school days when you are feeling stressed”; Solid Ground flow to keep them moving, Bring it on for the challenging days and Nice to meet you because you never know who will end up in your classes! I was astounded. And, in the days that followed, I thought less about the class than even when I teach! They had it down pat.
When I arrived at the store, they were there along with their mom and 3 friends in tow in case no one showed up. They had already set up the mats in two rows, their mats and had their lesson plan stationed just so. I offered them pose cards just in case they got nervous and needed them, but Kendall the older one shook her head and said, “I really don’t think we will need it. “ She told me she was nervous;I told her I was too and we smiled at each other.
As the clock struck 10 and we were ready to start, there were 14 eager girls ready to move. I did a brief introduction telling the participants that these were my students who were 9 and 12 and they were going to teach the class. You could see the perplexed faces and crooked smiles; the uneasiness was palpable. I glanced at Kendall and Keira to see if they were ready and got an affirmative nod. That was the end of me helping them. Their Back to School lesson plan went off without a hitch. They tag team-taught and helped each other when necessary, adding useful information when needed. They demonstrating when necessary, adding jokes and adding in some laughter to break up the tenseness you could feel. They were quick on their feet and with their wit and wisdom. They even offered in a game to get the students moving and had extra poses ready if they needed.
Keira, the younger of the two. has a very gentle and soft voice normally. When she first started coming to me, she used to ask her sister to tell me what she needed or wanted. Today you would have never guessed it. Her voice was clear, thoughtful, there were no ums , or uhs, or long pauses. Everything she said and did was so well thought out. She even led them in the final Energy Circuit, which is normally her least favorite pose. They asked everyone to feel the energy in the room and that is when my heart just leapt. These girls get it. They get that there is a purpose in this, they get that we are more than these bodies and that there is an energy that supports us all. They offered themselves so brightly today you honestly could see a glow around them when they were done.
The girls that took class loved it. It was not until after class that Mom told me there were tears since I saw them a couple of nights ago and again this morning. But her thought was, they needed the adversity, they needed to rise to the occasion and do what was asked of them because she knows that they have a lot to offer. The grins, the hugs, and the love that were there today after this class is what yoga is all about. This connection, this unity – it does not matter what age you are – you can participate. It does not matter how old you are – do what you love and it will show!