By Ali Beth
“I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be” – Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston knew what she was talking about when she sang this super popular song. Children are our future and their laughter should remind us of our carefree childhood. Don’t you wish you could act and feel like a kid again? Maybe it’s time a child became your latest role model.
Not convinced? Let’s look at our top five reasons children should be role models.
1. Children symbolize innocence, love and joy
Children = innocence, love and joy. Under most circumstances, children shine bright. Once transformed into adults, however, their innocence becomes diluted.
Perhaps you can recall warm summer days playing for hours with other kids in your neighborhood – until it became dark and your parents came looking for you. Maybe you created imaginative games, played sports, rode bikes and felt happy and carefree.
As adults, we begin to see the world in a much more literal, analytical way than when we were children. We have jobs, careers, bills to pay, added stress, and other external circumstances getting in our way. That’s why it’s so important to bring yoga into both your life and kids’ lives.
In a Pretzel Kids yoga class, for example, kids are encouraged to use their imaginations. Children are even invited to close their eyes as the teacher takes them on a fictional journey. Their mats become magic carpets and the room around them becomes a puff of cotton candy. Imaginations take hold and you are both transported to a joyful place. The children love it and are excited to discuss where they went after each class.
Imagine if your yoga teacher told you to close your eyes and imagine your mat was flying up into the sky onto cotton candy clouds? You’d likely either laugh or leave class.
So, what is the difference between kids and adults?
Children are open to everything and closed to nothing, whereas we are skeptical of almost everything. We grew up and lost that innocence. So, we should all let kids bring us back to a happy place.
2. Children have extremely large imaginations
Peter Pan said it best in the song “I Won’t Grow up”:
“I won’t grow up. I don’t want to go to school. Just to learn to be a parrot and recite a silly rule. If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!”
As adults, we lose our sense of child-like play and imagination. We worry about circumstances like relationships, money, careers, and health. We often believe we are “stuck” in our circumstances and there is no way out. Yet, if we take our imagination and play with it, we can create our best lives.
Who says we can’t at least try? Isn’t it much better to dream and believe you can be who you want to be?
Pretend you are an actor in an improv skit. You can easily shift into another world, time, and place. Right?
Yoga brings us back to our breath, our presence and our mat – which can act as a microcosm of the external world. You too can find solace by being still. You can also enroll in a kids yoga teacher training course to help you bring more peace to your life and the lives of children. Pretzel Kids yoga, for example, help kids step into a more mindful space. And, if you’re a Pretzel Kids yoga teacher, you can also learn to be more like the kids you teach.
Remember when you were young and believed in fairy tales? Children have such expansive imaginations. Why is it that this childhood magical fairy dust fades away once we reach adulthood? Because we lose our imaginations.
So, let’s learn from kids and lean into our creative sides.
3. Children live in the present moment
How often do you think about the past or future?
This is a daily part of our adults lives. Whatever happened in the past becomes a story created by you. If you had a tumultuous childhood, for example, you may blame everything in your present on the past.
Children, on the other hand, hold onto the present moment and quickly release the past. This is exactly what we should strive for.
Pretzel Kids Yoga works especially well with children because the curriculum allows kids to leave their pasts behind and live in present. As Patanjali, one of the founders of yoga, said in Sutra 1.2: “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.”
Kids seem to understand this.
4. Children have the ability to rapidly change their emotions without holding a grudge
Even the angriest child can quickly shift her mood.
How many times have you seen a child have a temper tantrum while a parent seems helpless? Maybe minutes later, the child is smiling with no sign of those past struggles.
If we examine this scenario closely, we see that kids don’t hold onto anger or grudges. They can push negative emotions away as they bring happiness back into their realities.
Pretzel Kids yoga helps reinforce this with imaginative games that get kids excited, laughing, playing and asking for more.
Children step into a happy state when they play, which is why games are such an important part of the Pretzel Kids yoga teaching format.
We can all learn a thing or two about regulating our own emotions by watching children play.
5. Children are sponges
As adults, we adhere to the quote by psychologist Carl Jung: “What we resist persists.”
Yet, if you continue to resist things, they will only remain with you. This creates even more struggle and pain.
Children, on the other hand, are sponges. They have the capacity to soak in everything. This is why a child can easily learn to ride a bike or practice yoga. Take Pretzel Kids yoga as example. In a Pretzel Kids yoga class, children follow the same basic class structure and this helps them remember. They pick up the games and asanas quickly because of their ability to retain the good rather than the bad.
As we get older, however, life gets more complicated and we forget what we learn. Instead, we should look toward the children in our lives who are able to soak up information like a sponge.
Are You Ready to Make Children Your Role Models?
We’ve just given you five good reasons why children are the best role models.
And here’s a pro tip: Enroll in the Pretzel Kids yoga teacher certification course. This will help you learn how kids function in a yoga setting. It will also help you bring peace into your own life.
The best part? You too can choose to live moment to moment, smile more, and enjoy life – just like a kid. Are you ready to give it a try?
About Ali Beth: Ali Beth is a licensed Pretzel Kids teacher, motivational speaker and wellness expert. Ali Beth’s mission is to guide you to become the best version of yourself though rewriting your life stories. You can learn more about Ali Beth at Ali Beth Stories.