On Saturday I volunteered at the Girl Power Summit at a middle school near where I live. I taught the girls yoga.
The girls were second to seventh graders. The girls were in or will be in programs designed to keep girls active and healthy with mentorship and leadership.
I taught five groups of girls. (There were probably between 40-50 girls per group.)
They participated in all kinds of activities that day: yoga, dodgeball, Zumba, hip hop dance, crafts, gymnastics and an obstacle course.
The idea for Saturday’s event was to motivate and inspire girls in their ability to make healthy lifestyle choices, and create positive change in their lives and others with encouraging positive self-esteem and cultural and community pride.
It was fun, challenging and exhausting working with the girls. I don’t have a lot of experience teaching kids yoga. So this was definitely a learning experience for me.
Before yoga they played dodgeball. That was a wild game. Then I had to calm them down for yoga.
I found that the girls were very receptive to breath work and were quite good at it. And it was a great transition from the ball game to our yoga practice.
There were no yoga mats. So my first challenge was to come up with a sequence with all standing poses for about 15 minutes, which was appropriate for kids. I also realized that we would likely be wearing shoes.
Many of my alignment cues for adults I knew wouldn’t work for kids. When I wanted them to stand in Tadasana (Mountain pose) I asked them to make a fist and put that between their feet to measure. Many times I reminded them to stand feet fist distance apart I would notice many of the girls measuring with their fists between their feet. It made me smile and know that they were listening.
We did Utkatasana (Chair pose). I asked one group if they wanted to do it a second time. And I received a lot of Nooooos. It made me laugh. Well, at least they were honest.
The girls loved Vrksasana (Tree Pose).
The more I taught the poses to the girls the more creative I got with the poses and my language. In Tree, once our branches were up we let our leaves (fingers) move in the wind.
We were bright shining Stars (some of the girls started to wiggle their fingers as their stars shone brightly) and beautiful, gorgeous Goddesses.
There was a least one girl (usually more) in every group who stopped to chat with me a bit or say thank you.
I was wiped out when we were done at 3:15. But I really enjoyed working with the girls. And I made a new connection while there so that’s always a good thing.
As the yoga teacher for the day I was representing The Xtreme Edge gym, where I occasionally sub yoga classes.
I was thrilled to be part of the first Girl Power Summit. And I look forward to participating in the future with this awesome idea and group of volunteers.