Recently I was invited to teach yoga at a local high school. It was a last minute request and everything lined up so I jumped at the opportunity!
Memories of my own high school years came to my mind and the struggles teens face. Their worlds are small in comparison to living through experiences, such jobs, bills, banks, car payments, you name it! Then there is becoming a parent and raising our own to become responsible adults. It broadens our world to see that there is more out there than just our social circles.
When I was a teen my constant worry was to try and fit in, try to do what everyone thought I 'should' do. Try to please everyone and unfortunately the majority of us are taught that its through envy that we are liked.
I was no exception.
What label is on your clothes, what kind of car we drive, what size is our house. Media solidifies this mind set and soon we are all miserable because we're never truly happy. Who could be happy when everyone else is jealous of the things they have, hating them for not possessing them themselves, feeling like a failure because we don't have enough, WOW! REALLY? Where in the world do we think we could ever be happy in that state?
Its exhausting trying to keep up, and in school when our circles are small, our lives revolve around our friends, boyfriend/girlfriends, marks in school. If something goes wrong its absolutely devastating!
My excitement in teaching these teens was handing over a coping tool. Let me rephrase that, an INCREDIBLE coping tool!!!!!
I taught two classes that day, the first one coed. For most of the students this was their first experience with yoga and figured it was just something to laugh off. I had to keep telling myself to trust the practice, as well as my patience and see what unfolds. I questioned myself wondering if my teaching would reach these high strung kids.
For the first 10 minutes I had quite a few doubts.
After that the practice took over. In a class of 25+ kids there were possibly 2-3 that didn't respond. What I found the most heart warming was the few that were joking around to begin with became the most responsive. All of them left the room quiet and relaxed which was amazing! Even the few that yoga didn't resonate with, the 2-3, left in a calm, quiet state.
Most people come to yoga for the physical aspect of the practice, to reshape their bodies, to keep fit. What ever brings you to yoga is of no matter, but what soon happens is it changes. Somewhere during the movements, breath, and meditation the mind calms and stress is reduced. Thoughts slow down and instead of reacting a mind can go back to analyzing without reaction. What a CONCEPT!!!!
Could you imagine how better our choices would be if we didn't react emotionally to them?
This is why I jumped at the opportunity to teach these teens, and would gladly do it again.
Could you imagine how different out world would become if yoga was taught in schools on a regular basis?
Just a thought.