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Monday, September 7, 2009

Yoga class

The girl and I took a yoga class together yesterday. It was the girl's first yoga class. Given her love of yoga I thought she would love the class. She did like it. For the first half anyway. By the end of the class she was in my arms crying.

Maybe it was her, maybe it was me.

I was close to calling off the whole thing before we even left the house. I wanted to walk the couple of blocks to the yoga studio because I didn't know if there would be anywhere to leave the stroller. She wanted to take the stroller. I said no. Hysterics followed. Then she wanted to take the wagon. I said no. More hysterics. I asked her if she wanted to stay home. She said yes then no, so we went to yoga anyway.

Things improved once we got to the class. She sat on her mat watching the few other kids that were there. The girl looked awfully cute in the blue leotard I had bought second hand and some leggings. Her blond pigtails all wavy from having been in braids for so long.

She really seemed to enjoy the first half of the class. She did most of the poses, she had an excited expression on her face. We pretended to be butterflies, gorillas and giraffes as part of the warm up and she played right along. In fact, she was happy to answer all and any questions the teacher asked. She was also happy to make suggestions of different poses we should be doing, like penguin or lion.

This is where I feel like things are my fault. I asked her a number of times to be quiet so the teacher could talk and to just listen. I don't know if that was what made her lose interest in the class or if she just got tired or if an hour was too long for her. But she stopped participating, wanted a snack and became whiny.

Guilt. After the class I worried that I had ruined it for her. I want her to be excited and exuberance about things, about life. I want her to ask questions and have ideas. I just wasn't sure how to balance that with the class setting. I am okay with her yelling out answers to the teacher and making suggestions but I wasn't sure if the teacher was. Or the other parents. The teacher seemed to have a routine she was following. I didn't want us to be responsible for disrupting the class.

Today I am still feeling upset when I think about it. Upset that I may have taken some of the joy out of the class for her. Upset that I was not more relaxed and okay with her being herself during the class.

Maybe this is more about me than her. My inability not to follow rules, schedules. I don't like feeling that order has been disrupted. That I have disrupted it.

Maybe, instead of practicing yoga, I need to be practicing acceptance.


  1. I think there are a lot of us out there who feel like this. I hate rigid schedule and routine, but recognize it is needed sometimes and don't know how and when to implement.

    Maybe call and ask the teacher if things like that are ok, or if they are disruptive. It might also be that she just needs another 6 months or so until she is ready for the class.

  2. Part of what might be tough is the teacher not laying out the expectations for the class right from the start, too. I think whenever kids are involved in an organized activity, the rules or expectations have to be clear up front, for everybody.

  3. I agree with The Husband, it should have been made clear at the beginning what is "acceptable" in the class. Maybe the teacher was ok with it and you are just "over thinking" it? I definitely think that an hour is too long to hold a child's interest, especially when the point of yoga is "focus", ya know? I say....try, try again. If you enjoyed it and she enjoyed a little of it, then do it again, maybe be in the back and slip out when you think the girl has had enough!?

  4. I agree with the comments above - find out what the expectations are. If the teacher doesn't mind then maybe try it again and let her do what she wants. Chances are though she probably just got tired. Is she at the lower age range for the class? An hour really is quite a long time.

  5. I'm throwing in my vote with The Husband, too. Setting expectations is soooo critical for kids in groups. Maybe next time you go you two can come up with some expectations together, mama and daughter, and after class you can go over the list with stars and stickers. It might be just the kind of motivation she needs :)

  6. All really good suggestions, thanks. Next time I will talk more about the expectations of the class before we go in and then be prepared to cut out early if needed. She is on the younger side for the class so that might be it too.

  7. Sounds like The Girl just got tired and wanted to do something else. Kids have short attention spans, so its not your fault. You told her to respect people who are trying to teach her something by listening. Always a good lesson and I don't think it will dampen her interest in trying new things. :)

  8. awww I am sure you didn't ruin it for her. Sometimes it takes more than one time to get into it. I always try to do new things with my oldest and get all frustrated too.

    Why not try some moves at home to practice!