I typically get lots of requests for relaxation time and essential oils when teaching my middle school students.
One day they surprised me by opening up about what a frustrating day many of them were having. They weren’t sure what they needed today.
I put my carefully-crafted lesson plan to the side and decided to introduce them to kundalini yoga.
As I explained what kriyas* are, why we chant mantras, and the awakening and rising of kundalini energy in the body, their faces went blank and eyebrows were raised.
Ok, I get it. It sounded a bit woo woo for 13-year olds.
I decided to jump right in and get them moving so they could feel kundalini.
We began by putting our hands on our heart and then folding forward to place our hands on the ground. We repeated this over and over and over for two minutes.
I encouraged them to be thankful for all of life’s experiences by “bowing to the earth to honor all that has happened to you in your life.” And then bless their choices by placing hands to heart.
The up and down movement was meant to move our energy from the lower chakras to the heart.
They did this without question. But they still had that look.
We did another kriya, kicking our legs from side to side to kick out what doesn’t serve us.
And another kriya, punching side to side to punch out our fears.
And their fav…we extended our fist forward as if to punch and then grabbed what we want from life and brought it back to our hearts.
They were visibly empowered.
Each movement was done with vigor and words of encouragement. They were focused and amped. I had a moment of wondering if this was a good idea or not.
And then we took it down a notch and made our way to relaxation. They were so quiet. The quietest I could remember this group ever being.
This different style of yoga wasn’t what they expected, yet they were open to it and it served them, as yoga should. Just when I think their brains and bodies aren’t ready for something, they surprise me and embrace it.
Don’t be afraid to try something new!
*a kriya is a yoga practice designed to have a specific result
Are you interested in learning more about yoga + mindfulness for tweens and teens? Click here for more information about our online training happening in October!
Meet NGY Owner/ CEO, Amy Lee
Amy is an adventurer and entrepreneur at heart. She is the owner of Bexley Yoga and Next Generation Yoga. Her passion is teaching tweens, teens, and college students – helping them to understand how yoga + mindfulness practices can support them during challenging life experiences.
In addition to running her two small businesses, she also takes care of her three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a tank full of fish.