CULTIVATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF YOGIS

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MAKING SPACE FOR NEW VOICES

EVERY YEAR, I LOOK FORWARD TO A REALLY INSPIRATIONAL WORKSHOP THAT WE PUT ON FOR YOUNG LADIES FROM THE DALLAS AREA. FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I’VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO GIVE MY TIME AND SKILLS TO THE COMMUNITY UNDER A LONG TIME NON-PROFIT I’VE SERVED, YOUTH CONFLICT RESOLUTION CENTER, INC. YCRC IS SMALL BUT WE PACK A BIG PUNCH IN WHAT WE DO. WE PROVIDE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS, FROM EXPOSURE TO CAREER PATHS, ACCESS TO MENTORS, WORKSHOPS, AND COMMUNITY EVENTS, FROM LEARNING ABOUT THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO BUILDING LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE, YCRC HAS GIVEN BACK FOR OVER A DECADE. I’M TRULY PROUD TO SUPPORT THEM AND THEY HAVE BLESSED ME WITH A SMALL PLATFORM TO DO SOME GOOD. FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I’VE BEEN THE VOICE BEHIND THE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER AND MARKETING EFFORTS, WHICH HAS BEEN A GOOD CHALLENGE FOR ME POST-GRAD SCHOOL! 

LAST MONTH, I WAS ABLE TO HOST MY YOGA + WELLNESS CLASS DURING OUR ANNUAL GIRL’S WORKSHOP! IT WAS MY THIRD TIME SERVING AS A MENTOR AND I FEEL LIKE IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER! WE START THE SESSION USING A BOOKLET WITH SOME CURRICULUM I DESIGNED WHICH FOCUSES ON: 

  • HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES

  • EXERCISE

  • YOGA + MEDITATION

  • SAFETY

  • ANTI-BULLYING

  • FRIENDSHIP

DURING DISCUSSION, I ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS LIKE:

  • WHAT MAKES YOU CONFIDENT?

  • WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL?

  • WHAT SPORTS DO YOU LIKE?

  • WHAT ARE SOME HEALTHY FOODS THAT YOU ENJOY?

  • WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

  • WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ATHLETES?

AT THE END, WE DO A POP QUIZ AND PRIZE GIVEAWAY! THEN I PROVIDE A YOGA SESSION FOR THE GROUP.

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ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS I’VE LEARNED WHILE VOLUNTEERING AND WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IS THAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM THE POWER TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN THEM, EVEN WHEN THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES. 

I REMEMBER IN ONE OF MY SESSIONS, THERE WAS A TEENAGER I WAS WORKING WITH. SHE WAS THE TOO-COOL-FOR-SCHOOL TYPE AND DIDN'T WANT TO PARTICIPATE VERY MUCH. BUT I WAS ABLE TO FINALLY ENGAGE HER ATTENTION AND BROUGHT HER CLOSER INTO THE GROUP. I HAD ASKED HER ONE QUESTION:

WHAT MAKES A GOOD FRIEND?

SHE STALLED, SHE COULDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION. I SAID, “I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!” SHE STARTED TO FEEL LIKE SHE WAS ON THE SPOT, BUT I REFUSED TO GIVE UP ON HER. SHE WAS SO CLOSE TO WINNING ONE OF OUR GIVEAWAYS! SHE EVENTUALLY GAVE UP AND SAID SHE WOULD LET THE PRIZE GO TO SOMEONE ELSE. EVEN THOUGH A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD HAVE SAID, “GIRL BYE!” I KNEW SHE NEEDED THE ENCOURAGEMENT. I SAID "I'M NOT GIVING UP ON YOU! KEEP TRYING!"

SHE FINALLY CAME UP WITH AN ANSWER: LOYALTY

I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MYSELF IN THAT MOMENT. I THINK IN SITUATIONS WHERE OUR PATIENCE IS TESTED, WE MUST STICK WITH IT. SOMETIMES KIDS NEED SOMEONE TO WALK THROUGH THE FIRE WITH THEM. 

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FOR MY YOGA SESSION, WE WORKED ON BALANCE! I TEACH THEM THAT BALANCE IS A CROSSOVER ASPECT THAT APPLIES TO OUR LIVES IN BOTH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WAYS. I HAD A LOT OF FUN TESTING THEIR STRENGTHS! THEIR FAVORITE YOGA POSES SEEMED TO BE WARRIOR AND TREE. THEY LOVE THOSE POSES BECAUSE THEY’RE CHALLENGING AND FUN! WHEN WORKING WITH KIDS, MY BIGGEST TIPS ARE:

  1. HAVE PATIENCE. GIVE THEM TIME TO TRY A SECOND AND THIRD TIME.

  2. DON’T BE AFRIAD TO GIVE THEM A CHALLENGE. THEY WANT TO KNOW YOU BELIEVE IN THEM.

  3. MAKE TIME FOR A MEDITATIVE MOMENT. LET THEM CONNECT THE IDEA OF STILLNESS WITH WELLNESS.

  4. SHOW, DON’T TELL. THEY FOLLOW YOUR EXAMPLE!

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SENDING MY LOVE TO THE JOHN C. PHELPS RECREATION CENTER, DIANA + ANDREA.

 
Jasmine HuntComment