I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately, mostly because this month marks the entrance of my 20th year stewarding Next Generation Yoga. I founded this company in 1998 and it uplifts me to look back on the many incredible memories; like the studios I opened, products I developed, videos I filmed, Teacher Trainings I led, Lesson Plans I co-created, partnerships I made, and Teachers I mentored. Wow!
And while all of this remarkably happened during my career, what stands out most in my heart are the many amazing children, places and NGY classes that I’ve had the honor to teach. I say honor, because travelling and teaching so many children in different venues, cities, countries and cultures has truly been a gift. What I have seen and felt, from the children, is life enhancing for all, including me, the children, their families, communities and our world at large. Through Yoga, we have all benefited from their smiles, laughter, self-expression, peace, and kindness.
I reminisce that I have shared Yoga with kids of all ages, stages, shapes, races and religions. With their parents present and oftentimes not. In schools, studios, homes, temples, parks, beaches, orphanages, hospitals, prisons, and places I can’t even remember. I have taught them with and without Yoga mats, on the sand, in wet grass, and rocky dirt. We’ve done thematic classes and improv’d lots together, too. Here are a few images to paint the picture!
NGY Summer Camp in my backyard in Encinitas
Spontaneously teaching a group of kids in Malawi
A family yoga event at the Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas
Doing goat yoga before it was popular 😉
At the NGY NYC studios during a photo shoot with Time Magazine
Up close and personal with the Golden Gate Bridge
Somewhere on a rocky dirt terrain
Love and Yoga in Turkey
Partner Yoga in a classroom
Teaching children who live at a prison with their moms in Kenya
Finding peace at a park
From New York City to San Francisco, many cities in between, Hong Kong, Malawi, Kenya, Turkey, Canada and Mexico, what I have found in common amongst all the children I’ve taught is that they all long for the gifts of Yoga. That despite any physical abilities, language barriers, or challenging circumstances, they all desire the integration of their body and mind. That they all want to feel centered, grounded and peaceful. That they crave freedom to express their ideas, creativity and joyful spirits. That they want to play and not be held back by rules or limitations. That they want to be accepted, loved unconditionally and united with each other, as one.
It’s true. Yoga is the answer for what all children and the world wants – to be seen, heard and loved.
Jodi Komitor is the Founder and visionary behind Next Generation Yoga. She is proud to be ushering NGY into its 20th year in business this month and could not have done it without the support and engagement of her parents, mentors, collaborators, supporters, the children of the world, the NGY Teacher Community, NGY Trainers and the TBoKY Family. Based in the Bay Area, Jodi loves to connect with Yoga peeps – feel free to contact her and get to know her here.