I always wanted to go to camp. When my brother and I were kids, we heard about camp, but we never went. It wasn’t that we couldn’t have. I’m not sure I ever said out loud that I wanted to go. But I did. I’m sure my Mother will be pleased to know that I recognize that she isn’t now, nor has she ever been, a mind-reader.
I’ve been teaching yoga for a few years now, and I truly enjoy teaching all ages for different reasons. Not to generalize too much, but each group brings different experience, desires and mind-sets to the mat. Over the last year I’ve been intrigued with teaching young people. I often wonder how my life could have been impacted if I’d learned to practice yoga earlier than my 30’s. And with all the technology, competition, and general busy-ness of today, I can’t help but think that teaching kids yoga will give them tools to better handle the stress of just growing up. Meditation, breath work, and a strong mind-body connection can combat the pre-test jitters, build self-confidence and start kids on the road to moving their bodies, which can lead to a lifetime habit. I started an after-school program this year to reach out to 12-15 year old girls. That was the first step. Then I went to camp.
The inaugural Camp Namaste was last week at Mountain Yoga! A couple of months ago, I attended a workshop about taking risks. A few days after that I told my partner that I wanted to have a kid’s yoga camp. He asked a million questions, and was surprised that I wanted to break this ground. Mountain Yoga was my next stop. (It wasn’t hard…I teach there several times a week.) I was grateful for the reception. And I was inspired!
Lots of reading, research and practice went into planning our week. It’s hard~no, make that impossible~to cover everything. I really had to dig into my practice to distill the curriculum for these youngsters! But after preparing for a few months, I had it nailed down. We had a mix of asana (poses), meditation, chakras (energy centers in the body), mandalas, and even some faux-tie dye!
The week was full of learning and surprises, both for me and for the kids. And I can’t wait to go back! Who’d have thought that I’d finally get to camp at age 43? There are more dates in July, and I’m excited about sharing yoga with these young people. I can’t wait to learn what they have to teach me.
If you’re curious about the benefits, click here to read an article from PARENTS magazine. And feel free to reach out to me…I’m excited to share what ever I can.
Now, go grab your kids and get on your mat!