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December 16, 2011 / martinezyoga

Previously On Martinez Yoga…

This week I taught a lot of classes. Energy! Tuesday I taught eight classes! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Eight. Read’em and weep! Phewish! It’s not uncommon for me to teach that much in one day. On Tuesday I taught three Therapeutic Yoga classes and five Children’s Yoga classes. The Children’s Yoga classes are usually in NYC public schools. Something happened at one of the schools Tuesday that validates why I do what I do and why I love doing what I do. How many times can I say “do” in one sentence? You do the voodoo that you do so well! Anyway, back to Yoga. At one of the elementary schools where I teach, I had a fourth grade student participate in the class like never before. I’ve been at this school since July of this year teaching in their city summer camp program, and they asked me to teach in the after school program when the year began in September. In my classes I try to engage the kids as much as I can in the school based Yoga program I offer, but I never force them to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable in any shape or form. Some kids just don’t want to do it, so they pull away. That’s fine and not unexpected, but I tell them I’m here when and if they change their mind and decide to join us. There is usually staff from after school in the room when I teach, and sometimes they tell the kids to participate, but that’s when I step in, and tell the staff and the student that they don’t have to do anything in the Yoga class that makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or just not good. I don’t make a big deal out of it. I just smile, and then continue with the class. That fourth grader who opened up Tuesday participated in the city summer camp Yoga, and when the after school Yoga started she just didn’t want to do it. No biggie. I told her, as always, I’m here if she changes her mind. Last Tuesday she did. She was way into it, talkative, sharing her feelings, and helped other kids. In the back of my mind I was hoping something like this would happen when I would see her not participate. I would go home thinking what to do to make her feel like joining again. I really couldn’t think of anything else that I wasn’t already doing. I just kept up with it. I was consistent. My classes have structure. The classes have a beginning, middle, and end. Tuesday she was all on-board. It’s similar to how I tell my Therapeutic Yoga classes that practice should be met with comfort and ease, and strength and softness. If you feel you need to take a break, take a break, step back, and then when you’re ready to join us, you join us, where you will find us again and again. She got that message, and I did my job. That felt really good. It all does mean something. You might not see it then and there. Perhaps it’s your preoccupied mind. Perhaps it was my preoccupied mind. But I kept trucking through, and she heard my message. Right on! Let’s see what happens next week!

Photos by Anna Rose

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