(A response from one of my students after the third level of Radiant Child Yoga training.)
I hope you are well, and I want to thank you for the Heart&Soul Work with Children workshop that you offered at Santosha on May 20th. Since the workshop, I have been contemplating how yoga works on and off the mat, for myself and as part of my relationships with my two children, ages 9 and 12. One surprising thing that has come up is the realization of how often I feel compelled to respond to my children’s requests immediately– “Do something! Fix it!” What I mean by this is that my children often make multiple requests, and I race to try to fulfill those requests without consideration of what makes sense or of what they are really trying to say. I have become more aware of the way that this pattern of request-run-request-run is distracting and unfulfilling for anyone.
You mentioned that children need more independence than they are typically given by adults–I agree. Staying focused and breathing and listening in an engaged way without doing or saying anything immediately is making a positive difference for our relationships. I am (mostly) finding it easier to listen and respond clearly and directly. My responses aren’t as tinged with frustration or harriedness.
As well, I have increased my yoga practice by making it both a commitment to myself and a possibility to do in any given moment. I have been working with a psychologist who uses a lot of mind-breath-body work over the past five years, but it is only recently that I’ve been paying more attention to my whole body through yoga and walking. I am excited to think about where I will go with my yoga practice and using yoga/breathing/engaged listening with children.
Peace and blessings,