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Thanks YogaDork for finding this awesomeness:

I’ve taught my first two kindergarten yoga classes this week and have my first preschool class coming up, I’ve also been volunteering at several different yoga classes, including one for autistic middle school kids. It has certainly given me many different perspectives on yoga. I’m still processing it all, so expect a post on it at some point in the near future.

It so easy as a yoga teacher and as a yoga student to feel like you “get it.” As a student, I’m totally guilty of cherry picking the classes on any given schedule that “sound like me,” beginners class? boring, I know all that stuff. “Boot Camp Yoga?” Sounds punishing. I gravitate towards the same sort of Vinyasa classes no matter what studio or gym I’m going to. And most of the time I enjoy it, and there’s always something to learn, especially from trying new teachers. But when I do branch out and try something totally different, even when I don’t enjoy it, is when I learn the most.

While I process all that I’m learning from all of my new teaching experiences, more opportunities are coming in! Starting next week I’ll be teaching at The Moving Studio in Downtown/Fort Greene Brooklyn every Friday morning from 8:00-9:00am. I’ll also be subbing Monday nights from 8:30-9:30pm on November 21, 28, and December 5th. The price is sooo reasonable ($10/class) and the view from the 30th floor  is amazing.  Between this and my Sunday night classes at the Brooklyn Zen Center, you have many opportunities to take affordable classes are gorgeous locations. More info on everything here.

I haven’t posted in a while, but it isn’t because I haven’t because I have nothing to say about yoga, in fact, quite the opposite, my silence has been in part because I’ve been busy setting up exciting new teaching opportunities. Here’s a brief run-down of what and where I’ll be teaching starting this Sunday!

  1. My four-week  open-level Vinyasa series starts this Sunday at 7pm at the Brooklyn Zen Center and happens every Sunday night until Nov. 20th.
  2. On Tuesday Nov. 1, I’ll start teaching twice week after school yoga to Kindergarteners at Brownsville Leadership Charter School with Fit4Life Kids.
  3. On Friday Nov. 4, I’ll start teaching two weekly morning yoga classes to pre-schoolers at Hudson Guild Community Center as a team leader with New York Cares
  4. *coming soon: an early morning weekday class at The Moving Studio in Brooklyn.
As always, check the Classes Page for all the details, and check back here, I have lots of ideas for blog posts and my next “Yoga Explained” video.

I volunteered with New York Cares yesterday morning at a community center called Hudson Guild in Manhattan. It was two back to back yoga classes for pre-school aged kids, and my job as a volunteer (there was 4 of us) was simply to participate in the class showing the poses and encourage the kids. The team leader on the project led the class is songs, games, and lots and lots of creative animal poses. The experience was in a word: joyful.

I’ve always loved children and have thought a lot about working in early childhood education, and of course after getting my 200-hour teaching certification I figured I’d probably add a kids certification at some point. In the meantime however this was a remarkable experience that I think anyone with an interest in yoga (even if you aren’t interested in teaching) should try. It was so refreshing to see how yoga can be approached and adapted to suit anyone. But my biggest take away was something I think everyone involved with yoga from teachers to students often forgets–how much FUN yoga can be.

So much in classes I (and most people) find myself with a super serious look of concentration on my face–brow scrunched, I’m doing YOGA, I must get this pose RIGHT. In this class we howled in upward-facing dog, said hello to our toes in Uttanasana, sang our OMs and  namastes. In tree and dancer poses when kids started to topple, they reached out to hold on to the person next to them to stay up, smiling the whole time.

Not every kid participated in everything, but the focus that these 3 and 4 year olds demonstrited was still better than most adults–if some one got up and started running around in your next yoga class, would you carry on joyfully with your balancing pose? I was also very impressed with the teacher–so much creativity and quick thinking goes into teaching kids. You know the poses when you teach adults, in this class the teacher went around the room and asked every child what animal they saw, she already had poses for the monkeys, dinosaurs, lions, tigers, etc, but a “spiderman” or “princess” pose? Now that’s some improvisation!

I’ve been a volunteer with New York Cares for over 5 years and have enjoyed every project I’ve participated in (there are over 1,000 projects a month people!!–sooo many fun worthwhile things to do!) Since yoga is now such a big focus in my life I decided to take my volunteering with them a step further and last night I completed my training to be a Team Leader, so soon I’ll be teaching a yoga for kids class!  I’ll keep you updated on where and when my kids yoga class is, so you can sign up to volunteer in my class and bring some joy into your practice.