there’s a story about mahatma gandhi that one day a woman came to him and said: gandhi-ji (or whatever she called him), my son has such a bad habit. he will not stop eating sugar! i have brought him with me today. he won’t listen to me, but i know he’d listen to you. if you would just tell him to please stop eating sugar, i know he would stop.
gandhi (probably) smiled (i mean, i wasn’t there…perhaps he wasn’t smiling, but i think he was), and said: take your son back home and come back in six months. at that point, i will tell him to stop eating sugar. she left.
six months passed and she returned with her son. gandhi simply looked at him and said: stop eating sugar. and the boy stopped.
but the mother couldn’t understand…why did she have to wait six months for him to say that? “because,” gandhi answered, “first i had to stop eating sugar myself.”
as a children’s yoga instructor, you have this magical gandhi-like power to change the way your students behave and feel. because you establish a non-threatening, non-didactic, yet still extremely wise relationship and they are often more willing to listen to you than their own parents.
but are you walking the walk? or just talking the talk?
this new year’s, i encourage you to look at the habits that you are trying to break…and every time you remind your students to live better lives, step back and remind yourself as well.