Update of post originally published January 12, 2009
As 2009 winds down, we look to the beginning of 2010. As with all transitions, the end of a cycle presents an interesting challenge. It’s a rich time for reflection but also a potential trap for self-criticism.
We mention this as many of you have undoubtedly had challenging moments teaching Yoga with children. And those working on certification may also run into some pretty strong self criticism, especially as you videotape your sessions. This is normal.
To truly harvest the power of this time of endings and beginnings, we have found that the yogic process of Swadyaya (self-study) – taught in the Wellness 1 workshop – must be balanced with equal amounts of compassion and understanding for ourselves.
So, as opposed to creating New Year’s resolutions with their often implied judgments (e.g., I am out of shape, I need to do this…or that), we like to reframe our commitment in terms of what can we do to bring our gifts and dreams into better resolution or focus – much like a photographer focusing their camera to bring out the inherent beauty of a scene.
As teachers, we understand that the process of growing has ups and downs, good days and tough ones. Neurologically, learning something new requires some initial chaos as our systems are challenged to make new connections. It’s often a messy process, but ultimately a fascinating one.
We often use the following graphic to depict the importance of looking for the trend of growth instead of the daily ups and downs that occur with our students (and ourselves!):
Teaching Yoga Calm certainly reflects this growing process. Lynea put it well when, in an interview on KATU, she said that at first, teaching yoga to kids “was a nightmare.” But as it was with us, we’re sure that as you stick with it, you will start to experience those moments of magic – when children speak from their hearts, when they begin to support each other, when they begin to share their gifts and develop a peaceful strength.
With practice and continued effort, these moments become more and more the norm. A positive trend develops. There are still “good” days and “bad,” but the practice of compassionate self-study, Swadyaya begins to bear fruit.