Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Children’s Yoga certification course. It was revealing, deep, uncomfortable and meaningful. My expectation was to learn a few Yoga sequences that I could teach at a little mindful/yoga kids class. However, it was so much more then that.
I would say that the one constant in every endeavor that is on this journey of life…points to this- You can not teach IT unless you are IT.
I found that whenever the class was prompted to behave as though they were children… I became very uncomfortable. Don’t even get me started on the feeling that I got when asked to chant with the group… yikes!
Through out the course, I watched adults younger then me and older then me skip around while demonstrating their created Yoga series du jour. There was even a Mother/Daughter pair that seemed to finish each others sentences while demonstrating poses they had only created hours before. I stayed quiet through and through.
At the mid way point of the course, I am embarrassed to say that I had convinced myself that I didn’t fit in because “I” was balanced and didn’t wear patchouli or habitually smoke pot like my fellow yogis… That was why I was the only person out of 40 adults who could not pretend to be a child while demonstrating Yoga poses.I told myself.
There were incense burning in the lobby and I was taken back to being in my friend Siobhan’s house during senior year of high school almost 20 years ago. We use to light incense to cover up another aroma… and back then I quite possibly would have chanted or pretended to be a child. However, now, that girl seemed to have grown up… and all of these adults around me had not. And there it was… an epiphany if you will. They chose to not grow up. They CHOSE to not grow up! All of a sudden I wanted to soak up every bit of energy, karma, zen et. al that they had to offer. I completely immersed my self in the conversations. I volunteered and participated fully in the course curriculum. Finally, we were asked to chant as a group with our eyes closed. “Sa Ta Na Maa”. To find out more about the meaning and how to actually do this chant, you can click on this link. How to Sa Ta na what? How to Sa Ta na what? It was such an incredible experience. It felt as if I was back in Siobhan’s room…no worries, just peace… just presence… and this was all accomplished from with in… no sedation necessary. “Wow! If only I knew about this as a child. I Must teach this to my children!” I thought.
Yes, chanting can feel vulnerable, odd and scary at first but I promise that after you do one chant with a group or with your children, you will be absolutely hooked. The vulnerability turns into a light tenderness, the odd feeling turns into self-awareness and the fear turns into light. Sa Ta Na Maa is one of the most healing and delightful experiences of my and now my children’s life. It centers us and sometimes when the kiddos can’t get to sleep… a little bit of center is all they need.
Now, did I get up and dance on the last day of class when MC Yogi was played and we were apparently at a “Dance party”? NO, I did not. I lied on my yoga mat and I meditated while, this time, listening to the Mc Yogi Lyrics “be the Change”. Here is a link to the video. It still gives chills through it’s simple message. Be the change that you want to see in the world While lying there, I began to relish in new found self awareness. I knew, it was going to take more then one weekend to find that 17 year old who burned incense. I knew that no matter where I was physically that through meditation- I was always home. This a link to a Huffington Post article with loads of useful info on chanting with your babes. How to Chant with kids and why?I recommend doing it on your own first… and then as a group.