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Teaching yoga to preschoolers has its rewards

BY AMY TAYLOR • SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL & COURIER • FEBRUARY 1, 2010

For the last six months, I've taught yoga at a local preschool. This is my final week so I've been feeling reflective.

Now, you know kids didn't invent yoga, even if adolescent boys in India were the first practitioners. Yoga and today's kids have to stretch to find common ground.

So, each time I roll out the yoga rules along with the purple mats. Stay on your own mat. Keep quiet and listen to the teacher. Watch out for your neighbor. Stay safe.

They nod earnestly and assure me they understand. And then they do whatever they want.

I try to teach while weaving through a stream of personal tragedies. A girl wants to remove her tights so she can show me her glittery toenails, right now. Tears brim because a friend chose to sit by someone else today. Someone's nose is running; somebody has to go to the bathroom; someone else just realized her barrette is missing. Everyone needs a drink of water.

It's comical. And it requires more flexibility than yoga ever will. I'm telling you, preschool teachers should be paid like the president. It is hard work.

Of course, it's also the most rewarding work in the world, filled with moments of pure joy. Especially when you finally get it.

When you realize that children love play-acting more than anything else and spend a chunk of class ducking as they pelt you with imaginary snowballs.

When, instead of pretending the crises aren't happening because they aren't in the script, you acknowledge them -- and let the kids solve them.

When you let go of what you think should be and try to appreciate what actually is.

And when the kid who barely moved on his mat all year smooshes you in the biggest goodbye hug of all.

Namaste, friends. Namaste.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hari Om, Kalipriya,

thank you so much for this article!! I want to give it to two friends on facebook,
is there maybe some way of beaming it apart from simply copying it?

Have a lightful week!

Om Namo Narayanaya
Devaki
Hari Om, Devaki

Thank you for your nice words
It is ok to copy it

Love and compassion
Kalipriya

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