picture courtesy of Joshua Thomas Pugh of Studio 601
When I was a child, I worried a lot. Going back to school after the summer vacation created so much anxiety in me! The night before school started, I couldn’t fall asleep; I was so nervous about what the unknown would bring. That anxious feeling before school started followed me into college and into my adult life – that feeling of butterflies in my stomach at the end of my vacation, nervous about what was awaiting me when I returned to work.
When I started practicing yoga, I found that it helped me to relieve my anxiety. Through the syncing of movement and breath, and meditation, it alleviated that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. After teacher training, I started teaching. First, Wyndie gave me a tremendous opportunity by inviting me to teach to her children and some of the neighborhood kids. The girls loved it! This gave me the confidence to begin teaching through a local non-profit, Yoga*Art*Teens (www.yogarteens.org). Through my first 10-week session at a local middle school, I saw a profound impact on the students who participated:
The kids reported feeling less anxious when taking tests and were able to concentrate better in class.
They gained confidence and were open to trying new things; they saw this in their school work and building personal relationships with new friends in school and other extra-curricular activities
Through yoga, the kids learned a different form of exercise, built strength and flexibility, and improved their balance and hand/eye coordination
They learned mindfulness and compassion for themselves, and were able to extend this to others with ease
Yoga is wonderful for kids who are or aren’t athletic! Some kids may not be into group sports, and yoga provides them with an alternative. One of my favorite things about yoga is it is never a competition; we are all on our own journey through this amazing life, and we never compare ourselves to one another. I tell my Yoga*Art*Teens that we practice yoga like we practice for the big championship game, except there’s nothing to win. You can’t beat yoga; it is something that teaches you more about yourself than anyone could ever teach you.
Yoga is something that truly saved me, and I only wish I had started when I was younger!
To connect with Vivian go to: YogaWithVivian.com