Two ideas have been buzzing around in my mind like friendly but insistent bees ever since Friendly Yoga became a reality almost three years ago.
1) Some tweens/teens in Friendly Yoga classes are ready to experiment with a more physically and emotionally challenging practice, but would still benefit from the comfort of learning with peers before moving on to an adult yoga class.
2) I wish there were more male yoga role models (adult students and teachers) for kids (both boys and girls) to look up to. There are some great ones out there, but also many studios with no men teaching and few men practicing.
So one day, when I was explaining to one of my favorite yoga teachers, José Torres, just what Friendly Yoga is all about, an idea crystallized, and I blurted it out. “Would you ever teach kids, José? We could teach a class together!”
José is serious role model material, not only because he’s a guy, but because he exudes positivity, fun, and kindness, and is an excellent teacher. He is also a perpetual student, mixing many different styles of yoga and meditation in his personal practice.
José smiled and said, “Sure!” but I have to confess that I thought maybe he was just being kind and polite in the face of my enthusiasm. I do tend to go all starry-eyed when I’m gushing about how much I love bringing yoga to kids.
But by the time I got home from class that day, José had messaged me, saying that he couldn’t get the idea of “giving back” by teaching kids out of his head and that he was super excited to give it a try.
Since then, José and I have put a lot of thought into designing a class that bumps up the challenge – and the reward – for teen boys and girls who would like to dive more deeply into a consistent yoga practice.
Know Yourself, Grow Yourself is a class especially for young teens, 13-15. (If you have an older child or an 11 or 12-year-old who you think would benefit from this class, please contact me through the Friendly Yoga Website– age is not as important as maturity level and enthusiasm.)
Class will be 90 minutes long and include group discussion, introspection, journaling, and a final relaxation. The centerpiece of the class will be a 45-minute yoga sequence, which will remain fairly consistent from class to class.
Homework (doing at least part of the series at home a few times between classes) will be strongly encouraged, but not required. One of the things we’re most excited about is having the kids see and feel mental and physical progress, and consistent practice will help them get there. Homework will demonstrate to them that yoga is something they can do outside of class when they need to calm anxious feelings or give themselves a pre-homework energy boost.
We’ll be offering a 4-week session to start. Class will meet on Sunday afternoons from 2:00-3:30 at the First Parish Church in Groton, MA, beginning on Sunday, October 12.
Registration is open here.