Growing up as a girl in New Jersey was tough. I'm sure we all have a similar story of trying to fit in while our hormones and body raced mostly out of sync.
I came to yoga in my early 20's and the affect was tremendous, not only did my body change but my whole life seemed to open up. For the first time in my life I got what my mom kept telling me about ...you have to first love yourself, Nickie.
I spent most of my teens trying to figure out who I wanted to be and just getting stuck. Getting stuck led me to be depressed and depression led me to hating who I was.
Yoga was more than a mere stretch and breath - it was an invitation to be me and love who I was, with all my shortcomings and so-called flaws. After a few months of practicing, my posture changed and I opened up on other levels: I felt more confident, spoke a little louder and even felt stronger inside an out than I ever had in my life.
Years down the road that dramatic change stayed with me; as my practice got more advanced, I ended up in a teacher training not really thinking I would actually teach. (Teaching meant getting up in front of a room, having people look at me and judge me for what I said, what I looked like and what I even had planned for class.) But the inner transformation that I had experienced compelled me to teach. Here I am 7 years later, having quit my day job to give myself fully to helping others find that love for themselves through yoga.
Two years back, I started teaching kids and teens - it's definitely a challenge, I won't sugar coat it. Kids these days are quicker and more experienced, dare I say more jaded. But when I look at them there's a familiar look in their eyes. They come to class and seek out more than the fun and games, they like to hear about loving who they are and accepting everything as beautiful, they want to learn how to breathe to get through tough situations and how to calm their mind when it's screaming at them. I see in the tweens and teens an earlier version of myself longing for some direction and am grateful to give it to them.
I approached our local Lululemon in Summit in hopes to offer more classes and reach more teens, they responded by organizing an event that is an offering to the community of teens in our area to celebrate their inner beauty as local women share wisdom and inspiration around self-love and self-esteem.
I am very excited to be teaching the yoga portion of this event called Inside & Out - stregnth : confidence : beauty at Alluem Yoga on Saturday, January 12th at 3pm. If you have or know a teen girl who could be inspired by this, please bring them by!