An Accidental Teacher (Yoga Journey Part 2)
My son was about 18 months old.
I would sit in the quiet hours of the morning before he woke, meditating and chanting happily, then small little feet would creep down the stairs, gently push the lounge door open, and sit himself in the neat perfect sized cradle my legs made whilst in Easy pose.
I would continue to meditate and chant, he would either get bored and jump up and begin his day playing, or sit and enjoy the vibrations my chants made and fall asleep.
If I was doing an asana practice and making cool shapes with my bod, he would see me as a climbing frame, or choose to copy.
This was all brilliant and fun, until the day he attempted to copy my strong Kundalini Lotus pose with Breath of Fire.
It was hilarious watching him balancing on his sitting bones, while holding his feet up in the air, we laughed and giggled - which of course is it how it should be - but a thought from the divine planted a seed in my brain.
This thought was to begin a chin of events that I would never have predicted - and led me all the way to my writing this blog for you now.
'Should children be doing Kundalini Yoga?'
This is a practice that works deep with the bodies energy systems (including Sexual Energy) and the chakras. I felt intensely that the Breath of Fire, with naval pumping and Kundalini Lotus pose would not be beneficial for children - could it raise the body temperature too high, or the heart rate.
After this strike of intuitive inquisitiveness I would only do the 'funny shapes with my body' if he was taking part, so as not to get him involved with the Pranayam (breath).
The next 'divine' coincidence was my spotting an advert for Starchild Yoga in Om Yoga Magazine. This was entitled 'Kundalini Yoga for Children - an Education for Peace'!!
I never paid attention to any of the Teacher Training Ads - it wasn't on my radar - the retreats yes, but no training.
I don't know how much time passed but I was at the Om Yoga Show in October of that year and i walked past the I-SKY (International School for Kundalini Yoga) and got chatting to a woman holding Starchild Yoga flyers. Chatted - went no further.
A year later I was at the show once more and this time met Siri Arti Kaur, the founder of Starchild Yoga. We chatted, I told her my circumstances, how I had found out about her and she gave me a CD of her songs.
Lets remember, at this time I was a single parent, scraping by. Finding the investment money for a Teacher Training Course, plus a babysitter willing to have my son for 3 long weekends was not easy.
Siri Arti and I exchanged emails about Yoga stuff and eventually in late 2012, I had the finances, the circumstances and, most importantly, the motivation to sign up for the course.
Let us bare in mind that I only took the course to teach Charlie how to do Yoga and do it safely. I HAD NO INTENTION of ever teaching anyone else. This was not a career change, this was a development plan for myself and Charlie.
The course was incredible. I learnt more about myself on this course than I could ever have anticipated. Siri Arti, with her grounded and graceful, no nonsense wisdom, instilled a confidence and belief in me that I never knew was there.
The most surprising thing I learned was that Charlie was the only child I COULD NOT teach!! After the first weekend I borrowed friends children to practice on, Charlie would just push back - in fairness I would be able to cope with it now, but when first learning, I found it tough.
I came home from the first weekend and KNEW I HAD TO PASS THIS ON. I had knowledge that children needed, and it needed to be shared.
Once I had taken exams, got myself qualified & insured, I began writing to schools, and, although terrified, I became a YOGA TEACHER. Never doubting that this was the right thing to do.
Looking back, it doesn't feel as if any of the decisions I made were huge conscious decisions. It all happened quite organically. After around 6 months I had enough classes set up that I could leave my office job and open myself up to schools during the day.
The schools and students came to me - some stayed - some left.
I teach 5 - 6 days a week and it is my job - I have no other. And it feels right.
The universe works in strange ways.
I don't believe in fate, I believe that, ultimately we are the driver, the universe is just the sign posts, and my choices felt natural aligned and easy.
Had Charlie not have attempted Kundalini Lotus would I be equipping Children with tools for life?
Sat nam, wahe guru and may the long time sunshine upon you - these are my mantras today and my life flows.
If any of my story has resonated with you then please get in touch as the stories of our plans and where we end up are fascinated - even of they are not the same thing.
Until next time - all my love.