Monday, April 19, 2010
Yoga for the YOUNG and.....OLD!
"The one person I am with forever is me. My relationship with myself is eternal, so I choose to be my own best friend. I choose to love and accept myself and talk to myself as I would to a beloved person in my life. I saturate all the cells in my body with love, and they become vibrantly healthy. I relate with love to all of life." - Louise L. Hay
That is the most important lesson I learned in my yoga training this weekend. You see, I am taking classes to become an RYT-C which is a registered yoga teacher with a specialization in teaching school aged children.
Flashback, 25 years to a young 8 year old on the starting block of a swim meet. I was a really good swimmer, especially the stroke of butterfly, but according to others, "I just wasn't strong enough!". I have come to find 25 years later, that simply isn't TRUE! My mind wasn't! I didn't believe I could do it, so I never WON! I wasn't my own best friend, in fact, I was my biggest enemy. Constantly saying to myself, I can't do it, I am weak, I am not worthy...oh you know - lots of negative self talk.
I have seen many competitors overcome challenges like the Olympic skater this year who lost her mother days before the competition, Brett Favre coming out and having the game of his life after his father died, Tiger Woods winning The US Open with a hurt knee, and Keri Strug winning the gold on a severely sprained ankle and so many other amazing, courageous stories!
I believe all of these athletes had great mental training as young children. Yoga is a discipline. Yoga keeps the body fit and flexible. When you focus on the poses, you allow your body and mind to be relaxed, allowing all the feelings, stresses, negative self-talk to leave the body and become centered. Young children are constantly being stimulated all day long....learn this, learn that, do this, do that! When do we allow them to take time for themselves to "just BE" and to be their "best friend"? Yoga does not lend itself to any religion or creed. You can adapt the experience for YOU and only YOU!
I wish I had this in my life 25 years ago when I was on that starting block. But, I have many more starting blocks to mount, I will put myself first and acheive all the things I would like to. Yoga will carry me through this. More importantly, I will teach my two little girls and the children of this generation the importance of the practice to love oneself and to understand and accept themselves as they are. Namaste.