Teaching yoga to children and youth can be really inspiring. It takes you away from your comfort zone into the land of unpredictable – and that can be absolutely illuminating! Hear out my story from the last class…
Gloomy Saturday afternoon in November – it’s 3.30 p.m. and it’s already getting dark. Kids are tired and can’t really focus on anything after the whole week of school. They are telling me stories of their troubles and worries that that week had brought upon them. To help calm things down a little bit I decided to do a meditation exercise with them. We sit cross-legged and scan down through the body with attention. To make sure they know what we’re doing, I ask them: do you know what’s the most important rule in meditation?
Suddenly, Jacob rises his head, and looking at me, answers: ‚Don’t force it?’
Now it’s me who stays completely silent. I’m astonished. How did he know? I asked a question, but now I don’t even remember how I was going to answer it. It’s really complicated. People meditate years and they still don’t know the answer. I’m sure I didn’t know it. And suddenly, most surprisingly, 12-year-old Jacob is giving me the simplest, the best answer: ‚don’t force it’.
‚Yes, Jacob! That’s a brilliant answer! How did you know?’ – ask I.
‚ You told us yourself’ – he shrugged his shoulders.
Yes, yes, indeed! When we started our classes in September, I did tell them that practicing yoga is about being mindful and that means that you listen to your body and don’t force anything if it tells you not to. Did I know they would remember that so well?
I came out of the community centre entirely inspired by what Jacob had said. If you want to meditate, don’t force it. Don’t concentrate on meditating. It needs to come naturally. Isn’t it something that I’m still learning from my meditation teachers? 🙂