Please tell me what you want your child to accomplish in our classes together:________________________________________________
Dear E's new afterschool club yoga teacher,
This is what I wrote to you:
-develop social confidence in the experience of trying a new activity__
-learn to utilize breathing as a tool for emotional regulation_________
-develop body confidence___________________________________
This is what I mean by all that:
Take my sweet but anxious girl and teach her ease. Show her how true strength comes from within. Teach her to be her own biggest supporter, and show her how she's her own worst foil. Make her harness her strength, and recognize that strength as good. Show her the value of silence, of concentration, of pattern and plan and repetition.
Teach her to recognize the beauty of quiet, small moves and thoughts. Make her limber and fluid and graceful. Teach her to pose as a Warrior, and remind her to rest; she's still a Child.
Make her believe in the strength and beauty of her own body now, while it's a believable thing, so easy because she hasn't yet formed doubts. Guard her now against future self-doubts. Build her up before adolescence, before the eyes of boys and men and the comparisons of girls and women. Insulate her now against her future self. Make her an athletic mind who respects her body as an instrument of power and restraint.
Show her the rewards that come from trying new things with new people. Wear her down, make her tired, build her up, and don't let her know you're doing anything other than providing an afterschool activity.
Plant seeds for self-discipline and self-respect and the gains of steady practice. Balance against her vivacious, silly soul the quiet hum of rhythm.
She still takes her body for granted as her physical presence, simply, and neither a matter of pride nor shame. Show her the pride, and arm her against childhood's future battles, the playground taunts, restroom remarks, that day when she notices her body for the first time and considers it as object. Build her so she doesn't internalize the slights others will one day try to assign her. Build her so she sees the wrongness of their barbs, the confidence she carries higher than they. Make her strong, inside and out. Support us in growing our sweet girl into a good person.
Make her feel good, not for praise but for muscles stretched and toes touched and suns saluted. Make her feel good for physical accomplishment and cleansed breaths. Make her feel strong, this girl who spends most of her time bent over a table, crayons in hand. Make her feel powerful. Make her feel mighty.
Be good to her. Be fun for her. Send her home tired, and happy.
Thank you, and namaste.