Recently, I received my Children’s Yoga Teacher certificate after a wonderful training with Yogi Beans. As many of you may recall, I had taught children’s ballet as an assistant ballet teacher at Steps on Broadway for many years and did my kids’ ballet teacher training with American Ballet Theater. But I had never been trained in children’s yoga before, and something deep within me had been calling me to teach yoga and qigong to children. I am glad I listened to that inner calling, as I absolutely loved the Yogi Beans training! It was fascinating to learn how to teach the younger generation all the benefits of yoga (including the physical poses, yoga theory, relaxation, breathing exercises, and concentration skills). With the use of play, creative movement, storytelling, and games, we learned how to pass on the wisdom and teachings of yoga to children even as young as two- years old. As a teacher who has specialized in yoga for adults and seniors, this was a very new experience for me – but one that I found fun and expansive. As we practiced the children’s classes, we all became more free-spirited, and released any concerns about what we looked or sounded like. It was never about doing the poses “perfectly” – even though we already know that goal is not realistic anyway. The children’s training helped to reinforce that very important concept of letting go of perfectionism. In fact, one of the Yogi Beans’ mantras is “Yoga is a Practice, Not a Perfect” – a mantra that I will definitely use for myself, as well as in both my children’s and adult classes! The other aspect of the training that I enjoyed was the creativity required to teach yoga to children. It pushed my creative juices as I learned to use different games (all with a specific teaching purpose) and to create stories and themes around the yoga poses. One of my sample class themes was finding and connecting to nature (even in NYC), and creating a yoga pose storyline in Central Park! Taking this training, also reminded me of the fun and importance of non-competitive play – something we serious and driven adults no longer do, and yet it is so liberating. I now see the value in play for all ages, the importance of reconnecting to one’s inner child’s wide-eyed and wondrous view of the world, and the possibility of taking life less seriously at least some of the time.