Yoga through the eyes of 7 year olds

Much to my excitment, I’ve been asked by a local school to teach two classes a week for them. The children learn in both Spanish and English(phew) and are brilliant. I couldn’t even finish unrolling all of the mats today before they started hopping in them, using them as flying carpets and rolling themselves up like hot dogs in them! It’s so refreshing to be around such eager, pure and freeing souls.

“What is yoga?”, I asked. I see 8 hands shoot up instantly. 

“Yoga is breathing!” “Yoga is meditation!” “Yoga is stretching your muscles!” “Yoga is hearing your body!” “Yoga is, umm, doing a pose to help your body heal!” “Yoga is relaxing so you have a better memory!” “Yoga is something you do for yourself when you’re stressed!”

Yes! All of these things are yoga. Yoga is the study and focus of the breath, allowing it to be our vehicle for mindfulness. Meditation is also part of practicing yoga. We sit in silence and observe the fluctuations of our mind, like clouds passing by in the sky. And yes, stretching, or for lack of a better word, is what we do in some poses, to ease pressure on our joints and spine. And a big aspect of practicing yoga is to become more aware of how our body feels to us, in a state of rest, stress or discomfort. And we certainly heal ourselves through movement in yoga. Just the other day, I could have sworn half moon pose healed my headache. And by doing yoga, by treating oursleves, body, mind and soul, to a series of movements in unison with our breath, we can improve our memory and walk away feeling high as the sky!

Thank you for your wise words, mis hijos!

 

Nicole Settimi