The Spirit of the Games
While yoga is not (yet) an Olympic sport, there are ways to tap into the excitement of the Olympics to enhance your kids yoga classes.
Many kids love the Olympics. They are really special because they only come around every four years. This morning in my pre-school yoga class (3-5 year olds) at a daycare, five out of eight kids said they were watching the Olympics on TV. Earlier in the summer, my nephew asked to have an Olympic-themed birthday party, and it was a hit with all the kids.
Behind the Olympics
Knowing from personal experience that this is an event and topic which engages kids, in class today I asked, “What are the Olympics?”
They remembered swimming, gymnastics, bicycling, and racing. I wondered if they knew that these athletes practice for years to go to the Olympics. They have to keep going and practice even when it gets hard. These athletes want to compete against the world’s best.
At the Olympics, many athletes record their personal best, and are happy to know that they themselves are among the best in the world. Not everyone will win gold, but it is an incredible accomplishment to qualify and participate in the games.
Challenge Can Inspire Us
Yoga is not usually a competition, but it is a challenge. We are striving for our personal bests, wanting to master a pose so we can move on to more difficult ones. When others can do a pose better than we can, we can choose to feel defeated or inspired. We can be happy to be around our peers who have mastered poses we have yet to master ourselves, just like the Olympians are happy to be at the games. It is up to the individual.
Yoga teaches us to overcome challenges. Off the mat, we have greater courage to start living life with more meaning. This is true success.
“As long as we are not bold enough to step out into the unknown
and experience life to its fullest, we will feel bored.Ancient Secrets of Success for Today’s World by Tulshi Sen, p. 161
If kids are never given challenges they will never experience the bliss of living. There is no greater feeling than lying on the ground exhausted and satisfied, having fully put body, mind, and spirit into overcoming a challenge.
A Challenge for you: Can you guess some Olympic-inspired yoga poses? Comment below!
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