Teachings kids yoga has made me realize how much kids already know about the practice that adult yogis are still trying to work out -- myself included. Here are some spiritual secrets from little gurus!
1. Yoga is silly fun. We've all seen adult yogis breathe, focus and maybe even furrow their brows through class. Maybe you're one yourself (I often am!). Kid yogis remind us that yoga is silly fun. We are posing as Dogs and Camels, after all, sticking our tongues out and exhaling with Lion's Breath, and balancing on one foot in Tree. Yes, yoga is profound, but it can also be playful. Just like life.
2. Yoga is for sharing, aka, your personal practice is also about others.. I'm guilty of this one. You take your mat, unroll it and set up in class, and hardly notice those around you. Sure, you hear your neighbors breathe, but you're so in your own zone at the same time. Kids take a different approach. They like to step off the mat and share a friend's, or link up their Boat poses to create an even bigger boat pose (a cruise liner!) because its often easier to balance, focus, or feel joyful with a friend. Yoga is about going inside and getting to know yourself, but it's also about how you interact with the world. Partner and group poses can be a fun way to practice that.
3. It's OK to fall. The only way you'll know how far you can go is to be OK with falling. Kids are less fearful of playing deep in their Crow pose or Dancer to find their edge, and the result is some brave yoga. I've watched eight-year-olds pop up into handstands like nothing, while it takes many of us adult yogis several moments of setting up mats, blankets and devising a plan to even start.
Try bringing a kid yoga secret into your next adult practice and see how it changes things!