sometimes i get a kid in my yoga class who just doesn’t fit in well with the others. maybe she’s shy or brash. maybe he lacks confidence or social skills. but for one reason or another, s/he just doesn’t fit in. the other kids talk and joke and bond, but this one kid is left out. even worse, sometimes the kid will pipe into a conversation and the other kids will just stare and stop the entire conversation abruptly on a dime. man, that kills me.
generally speaking, if my students are talking a lot in class, getting loud and out of hand, i stop them, have them regroup, sit, meditate, quiet down, and get back on task. i certainly allow a certain amount of goofing around in every class, as i do want yoga to be a fun and enjoyable experience for my kids. i just don’t allow things to get out of hand.
but…if one of my less social kids is a part of the conversation and clearly enjoying the process, i often will let the talking and joking continue. even if it is a bit out of hand. why? because for a less social child, it can be very empowering to be accepted by others. for a less social child, being included in social situations can lift their spirits and help them emotionally and mentally to deal with the world. for a more social child, learning to include and accept kids who may not be so cool is a great exercise in acceptance.
i think that these lessons can be every bit as important as the yoga itself. i think these lessons are yoga itself. maybe there’s a little less discipline, but there is a lot more acceptance and one more kid is going to go home happy and empowered. job done.