Inspiration is everywhere, we just need to take a moment to appreciate it. Sometimes you just need to dive in, take a risk, and sign yourself up. That’s what I did when I signed up to take the NGY Teacher Training for 2-7 yr. olds with Nicole Koleshis. I was searching for a dedicated Kids Yoga studio for my children when we moved to Seattle. I had an ideal image in my mind based on the Yoga classes I had taken with my son in DC. The circumstances of that experience were wonderful and magical (we both loved get a foot rub during savasana!). Now I learned I was in charge of recreating that experience if I wanted others to share in it.
I’ve been teaching NGY classes for over two years. It is one of the most enriching and empowering things I’ve ever done. Teaching children of all ages, I see the students benefit in many different ways. Recently at a preschool, a girl I’ve been teaching for the past year turned to me. She said, “Teacher Deb, I do Yoga and the Om song at home. I do it on my front lawn. I showed my dad how to do Yoga because he doesn’t know how.” It amazes me to know that even 20 minutes of Yoga once a week will carry into the lives of the children we work with. And their parents!
At another preschool, a student named “Adam” has some physical challenges and cannot walk independently. But what Adam can do is incredible! He sings “Om” with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. He can hold plank position and cheer, “I am strong!” He can belly crawl across the room to give me a hug that fills my bucket for days. Most of all, he gives me inspiration every time we practice Yoga together, reminding me that Yoga is for everyone, everywhere.
I get inspiration from “Emma,” a nine-year old Yogi at an after school program. Halfway through our 12 week session, I taught the NGY Lesson Plan “Gratitude is our Attitude.” The children were given journals, and we took time to reflect on the day to find one thing that we were grateful for. I encouraged the students to take their journals home as well. At the end of the session, Emma’s mom shared with me that every night before bed, Emma had been writing in her journal, often staying up past “lights out” to make sure she wrote down a gem from her day. Imagine if, as adults, we too made time every night to focus on a gem from the day. Maybe today is the day you start your own gratitude journal?
My inspiration for teaching children comes from so many places: my son asking me to teach Pirate Yoga, my daughter climbing inside the breathing ball, my dog, Rosie, who reminds me with her graceful poses where Yoga originated. It comes from the hundreds of students I’ve taught in the last few years. Their confidence and positive energy has grown and been shared with their communities. I am inspired to continue to teach NGY classes because I know that by sharing this gift with our youth, we are enhancing the world we all share.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Wishing you all laughter, risks, and inspiration.
Deb began her Yoga journey while in college in Vermont many moons ago. She continued to practice during her pregnancies, and then was introduced to Yoga with children by taking her son to parent and child classes in Washington, DC.. Inspired by toddlers in savasana and the energy that Yoga brought to her son, Deb became certified with Next Generation Yoga, completing Trainings for 2-13 yr. olds, Advanced, and Every Kids Yoga.
Deb currently teaches at preschools and elementary schools in the Seattle area. When she’s not teaching, she can be found coaching children with ADHD and spending time in the great Pacific Northwest with her children, husband and dog.