Kids Yoga: Expectations vs Reality

Hello friends!

I was going to do my usual weekly post and cheat sheet about my kids yoga class, but I’m just not feeling it this week. I’ve been having a conflict lately between the expectations I hold for my classes and the reality of them. I want to teach classes at my ‘home’ studio in Catonsville, but the travel and attendance can be discouraging… and I want to teach classes in Annapolis, but having to promote them can be discouraging. (Any sort of self-promotion – in all honesty – makes me uncomfortable, but I’m learning it’s a necessity). I also find myself planning classes expecting  that I’ll have more than just a few students, but then the reality of my expectation hits when only two or three students arrive.

All month I’ve had low attendance in my Catonsville classes; this past week was no exception with only two students. Just as I was accepting it would only be my niece and I practicing together, the second student came tumbling in to the studio like a ball of energy with the biggest smile on her face. Her mom looked at me relieved and said, “Oh thank goodness, it’s finally time. She’s been staring at the clock since 9:30 this morning.” I had planned on talking about satya, or honesty, for the day, but as we moved into our warm-ups, the ball of energy stopped me and asked, “Can we just dance?” In that moment, I decided to throw all expectations for the class out the door. If I was going to teach about satya, I was going to need to be honest with myself first – I may pre-plan my classes and I may expect to have more students, but it isn’t always going to go as planned and growth isn’t going to happen overnight… it’s going to require a lot of patience and work. So we danced. My two students burst into a fit of giggles and we all twirled around the room until we landed on our mats in a heap of heavy breathing.

Later that day, I had my first Yoga Buds class at Prana Studio in Annapolis. I’d like to say I maintained the care-free attitude I had cultivated in my earlier class, but then again, reality. I was expecting around six students due to emails I had received, but only half showed. I was also expecting everyone to be just a littttle more enthusiastic about being there. When my third and final student arrived just as class was about to begin, she was reluctant to say the least. I could tell mom was just as reluctant to stay for fear of being a hindrance, so I suggested that the two of them sit and watch in the back of class. If her daughter eventually wanted to join in, she was more than welcome. It took less than five minutes before she began to scoot herself closer and finally made her way to her mat. My lesson plan went swimmingly; I taught them the ‘Welcome Song,’ how to do a sun salutation and the warrior sequence, and we ended class decorating ‘Namaste Candles.’ When the kids rejoined their parents in the lobby to go home, I heard two of them tell their moms they wanted to come back.

This is satya. I do spend a lot of time planning out my classes and it is discouraging when only two or three students show, but rather than setting my expectations too high, I’m going to work on accepting the realities of my situation. Because I may only have a few students in my class, and I may have a hesitant participant, and I may need to change my lesson plan, but hearing just one student look up to their mom or dad and say, ‘I want to do yoga again,‘ is more than enough.



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