Sunday, April 28, 2013

Teaching yoga to kids????

Every once in a while when I am feeling beaten up by this damn amazing giant fast moving city, I stop and remind myself of how grateful I am to be in a place that is bursting with so much opportunity and inspiration.  And the thing is, these moments never happen in the places or at the times that I expect them to.  Sure, I expect to feel good and be inspired when I walk in Prospect Park.  I expect to be irritated by noise and cigarette smoke when walking through midtown.  But I also know I'll see at least one really awesome outfit that will give me pause.  And I am inspired almost every time I go for a visit to my chiropractor not only because there are great anatomy charts hanging on the wall and because Dr. Grant is just plain fantastic and likes to talk about what's going on...but at my last visit he totally threw me for a loop- in a good way!

I had my first visit about a year ago when I was feeling a lot of lower back pain and recently started going again for some care for my f'ed up rotator cuff. Something happens when I go to this office and I just want to chat chat chat about the human body and it's mechanics and how it works and the marvels of it all.  And luckily Dr. Grant seems happy to converse about these things with me.  Part of me thinks he's pretty lucky to have me as a patient not only because I'm physically flexible especially in the spine, but because I kind of hang on every word he says when he talks about what's going on.  I ask questions and want to know more.  To him, it's probably almost like having a student to mentor.

Anyway, we talk and he knows that I am a new yoga teacher and that I am pursuing this basically on my own and I'm sure he can see my passion for it.  The other day at my session, when I was face down on the table and he was digging into my sub scapular muscles, he asked me what makes me a good yoga teacher.   Jeez Dr. Grant, really?  OK, fine, I'll answer that.  I know that at some point, I'm going to need to be able to answer that question and sound confident, so why not start thinking about it now?  I told him that I'm a good teacher because of my passion for yoga and that it is something that I want to share with people because I love it so much and I honestly feel that every single person in the world can benefit from practicing some form of yoga.  He rephrased the question and asked how I want my students to feel when they leave my class.  Of course I want them to feel better than they did before they came in, but in the grand scheme of things, I want to help people to realize that they can choose to be happy, they have control in their lives and they make their own choices.  And that I think yoga is a key to unlocking happiness in several ways but especially physically by releasing some of the very deep pain and emotional discomfort that we hold onto deep in our bodies- areas such as the hips and shoulders and even our guts!  By beginning to release that, we can begin to free ourselves emotionally, and that feels good. I told him that I really want to help people who suffer from deep pain, things from the past that they may not even be aware of that are blocking them...that I want to go for therapeutic release and want to teach from that angle. Then our conversation got kind of deep and we talked about genes and psychology and childhood, and he said some very nice things to me about my demeanor and presence in a room.  He's sort of like a therapist to me, but I don't abuse that because that is not why I see him.  It is nice though, that he takes a holistic approach.

Anyway, next he confessed that he was asking these questions for his own self-interest.  He is putting together a wellness summer camp for inner city kids and was wondering if I'd be interested in coming to teach the kids yoga!  I was (and still am) totally flattered and excited!  My mind is filled with ideas of what it will be like,  and what this could lead to- fantasies of working with a small holistic health care group of some sort... they pay my way for training programs in the healing arts...give me health insurance and good pay...maybe I even go back to grad school again and become a chiropractor (ha!).... and other, more realistic career fantasies like he refers clients to me and I have lots of private yoga sessions.  BUT, first, I have to do some serious research and teach myself ways to share yoga with kids.  You can bet I've already started googling that.

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