How I Became a Yoga Teacher for Children

A yoga teacher training is never what you expected. It is a roller coaster of experiences, packed with solid learning and raw vulnerability, lots of ha-ha moments and a great variety of emotions – most of them, but not all of them, related to peace and love.

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The space for my yoga for children teacher training was this beautifully pastel colored room, with huge white cushions and transparent curtains moving to the autumnal breeze and blue, pink and purple mats on the wooden floor.

Before the teacher training, I thought I was prepared for this. And I was wrong.
Nothing prepares you to face your light and your darkness in a group – we all have our darkness and it usually does not look all pretty and flowery. All this, while being stifle and sore in every single muscle of your body.
The first day I entered the room, it was full of strangers. Six of them, all women.
At the end of the course, minutes then hours then days later (seemed like years from the inside), I had to say goodbye to six soul sisters.

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Sat in a circle, we listened for hours to our teacher, a wise woman that knows how to meet the children in a safe and caring way, while she explained in details how to share the yoga with them. We spoke a lot about asanas – postures – of course. But that was not the only important part. She held a spiritual space for me and the other five students. She showed us how to be committed and connected and she prepared us to become beacons of light – ready to reach even the smallest members of our communities.


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It was a sacred space for learning. We talked a lot. We shared a lot – very personal stuff too. We cried a lot. Daily yoga, meditation, and kriyas open your mind like never before. We laughed in cat-cow pose while mooing like cows and meowing like kittens. We cried a lot (did I say it already? well, it was a lot of tears). We drank liters of herbal infusions, holding on the cup with open wide hands. We put ourselves in turn into feeling like young children – to be that small girl we once were. Again and again. We laughed together freely and with all our bodies (right, Roger?). I felt safe. I felt vulnerable. I felt immensely happy. I felt broken and humbled. I was tired in my legs and arms and in parts of my body that hadn’t noticed before.


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Sometimes I felt scared of the sheer quantity and quality of the learning I took upon my shoulders. I tasted the worry before the several exams, both practical and theoretical, that we had to pass. I faced that teenager I once had been, before the school test, the adrenaline peak and the action and then the sweet peace of a test done and passed.


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This particular branch of yoga for children is based on Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and the Montessori method.

There was a great amount to be learned and understood and assimilated, in a relatively short period of time.
As my wise tutor told me, during a moment of insecurity in the corridor of the ladies’ bathroom – you take it all in, I know it is a lot. You listen carefully, you take notes, you put it inside your head and body and you process it all with patience. Then, once digested, you throw it away, you take this load and you forget about it – and what stays inside you, what is now inside you, is the essence of yoga and it is yours forever.

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It was a good opportunity for me to face my insecurities and limiting beliefs, to overcome the urge to compare myself to the others I am the least experienced one, one of the youngest, I am no good at this, who am I kidding? But I felt radiant and alive and synchronicity came to me effortlessly, as rarely before (isn’t it true, sweet BFF LouLou?).


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You are strong, you are capable, said Lucy to me on the last day during a collective meditation, without speaking any word or making any sound – and it was one of the most powerful personal messages I received during the training. It will stay with me for a long time.


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Each one of these women accepted me as I am, and showed to the group their real self with courage and integrity – like little precious stone of their souls.

Chelo’s honesty and laugh was the color of the sand in a wintry seaside and Jacky’s voice was smooth and welcoming like a light pink cotton blanket.


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Siri Arti, our teacher, had the presence of a goddess and a defined, solid structure in her inner posture, naturally protecting the space for our learning like a bear mother with her cubs.


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The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.”

Maria Montessori

By night, every night of my teacher training, I came home exhausted. I dragged my feet to my second floor flat in London, sometimes wishing I could check in at a hotel like many of my fellow students. I needed quietness. Space to be silent. A table to write my homework, a cozy single bed for a long night sleep and an early rise the day after, to be on time for the next day of training.
Instead, I arrived home to my children, noisily and happily greeting me, wanting to show mommy their drawings and yo-yo tricks and waiting for dinner to be ready. They kept me grounded and even if I thought I needed that quiet hotel room, what I really needed was to be with them, even if they occasionally jumped on my sore ankles.

A couple of days after the end of my teacher training, I invited my two children to a taster yoga practice. I knew that to teach your own children is one of the most difficult task. I was a bit anxious about their reaction – I know they wouldn’t lie to me, I would have seen in their faces immediately if it was boring or not working.
Well, they absolutely loved it! They asked for a second session straight away and we enthusiastically embarked together on another 15 minutes of practice.

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                  “Laugh because that is your purpose in life. Love because that is what you came here for. Shine because that is important. Share because it is demanded of you.”

Yogi Bhajan

I never really dreamed of becoming a yoga teacher. Especially a yoga teacher for children. As you know I have two, and I thought that was pretty much all the children I could handle.

Except, life surprises me. All the time. And now I know I can do this. To bring mindfulness, yoga and peace to small children.

If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men”.
Maria Montessori

Sat Nam.

Eleonora

sytt_certified_whiteP.S. I did my Yoga Teacher Training in London UK with StarChild Yoga. I am forever grateful to Siri Arti for her kindness, integrity and wisdom. And for welcoming Eleonora into the circle!

You can find out more about Kundalini Yoga for children on StarChild Yoga website or on the KYTA (Kundalini Yoga Teacher Association) website.

3 Comments


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