When you first start teaching yoga, you prepare, sometimes over prepare, the ways you will begin the class, the sequencing, and short readings during savasana. You consider the length of time, the composition of the students, and the themes you want to follow. It’s even more specific when you teach children or teens with special consideration to their stage of development.
So what do you do when you know you are going to teach yoga and meditation to 200+ orphans and Buddhist nuns, many who are teenagers, but that’s all you know? Will we be teaching the children with the adults, or will there be separate yoga sessions for the orphans? I don’t know, but I want to be ready for anything, so I reached out to Tara Rachel Jones, OTM’s very own children’s yoga teacher, for some guidance. Even though I don’t know the who, what and where, after speaking with her, I feel prepared! She so generously shared her teachings with me. I now have a collection of lessons, games, and activities to use.
The beginnings are the same for many yoga classes. We begin by taking our seat, our “Yoga Seat.” With the potential barrier of language, I plan to rely on the Sanskrit of Sukhasana, Vajrasana and Virasana, as I teach the basics of coming into a yoga practice. Of taking a yoga seat, along with the Yoga Seat game for the children so clearly articulated in her book for children, It’s Time for Yoga.
Tara generously donated ten copies of her book for me to take with me, and I know the illustrations and stories here will help me share the gifts of yoga to this wonderful group of girls and women in the monastery.
I look forward to revisiting this topic after I’ve taught, filled with pictures for you!