This morning I volunteered at my local elementary school, and taught a lesson on yoga. The kids and I discussed how old yoga is (5000 years), we located where yoga started on their classroom globe (India), we saw how far away India is from the U.S. (7500 miles), we stood up and did a yoga pose, and then we drew a picture of the pose on a handout. The kids and I did a total of eight different poses – and it was hilarious.
I experienced how descriptive language works beautifully with children; and I got to see how literal kid’s minds are. When I said, “Breathe in and stand tall like a mountain,” the kids stiffened up, lifting chins and eyebrows skyward, trying to make their little bodies as tall as they absolutely could. When I said, “Breathe out and stand strong like a mountain,” I saw many little fists clench, and little biceps bulge.
I also got to witness how creative their developing brains are. When I showed the kids cat and cow pose, and let them flip from one to the other on their own, I could easily tell who was on which pose – because I heard the “moo”s and the “meow”s with each pose. And when we got to lion pose, oh lord… their teacher quickly turned us into whispering lions. And they were all very, very cute.
I was also reminded of how creative kids can be – and how sensitive they are. When I asked the kids to draw each pose, they created some amazing images that certainly put my little stick people to shame. And when each child showed me his or her creation, every one of them looked at me with anticipation, waiting to see what my reaction was going to be – desperately wanting me to say something positive about their drawing, wanting my approval. Wanting to be good. Wanting me to be pleased.
Yes, this lesson was pretty loud, semi-frenetic, and slightly chaotic at times; but it was also a heckuva lot of fun. Those kids are such earnest, honest, genuine human beings; they make me smile.