Love – “The object of attachment, devotion, or admiration. Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another” "Love." Merriam-Webster.com. Here we are in the month of February, or as we all know it, the month of love. As consumers we are constantly reminded with hints of hearts everywhere we turn—not that we really need it. From store decorations, romantic commercials on TV, vast amount of chocolates and candies, Valentine’s Day cards, there’s no need to put any thought into what to purchase to signify your love for a special someone. It’s essentially decided for you. Love, it is everywhere we turn in this month. We see it, we remember it, we show it. But what about the other eleven months, where is the love then? Since I was in grade school, I can vividly remember picking out Valentine’s cards for all of my classmates. It was as exhilarating as waiting for and pretending to be Santa Claus. Impatiently waiting to give and receive my cards, I loved having my favorite Pop Star, Disney character, or cute forest animal share a catchy/ positive phrase. As cliché as is sounds, everyone in the classroom would truly feel the love, just from a simple Valentine. Everyone gave one, everyone got one.
When I think about it now, I realized that back then, I never truly understood what I was helping to spread around: actual, genuine love. But even though it was festive, fun, and kind, it disappeared so quickly. The following day, decorations of colorful hearts and leftover Valentine’s were stashed away. Why is love celebrated and then tossed away? Shouldn’t we have these desires to share and feel this way every day. Instead of making it socially acceptable to express and open up to love for one day each year, imagine what could happen if this wonderful tradition continued after February 14.
In my journey through children’s yoga, I have been shown various breathing techniques, games to play, crafts ideas, kid friendly poses, appropriate language, and other remarkable tools. Yes, it was handy to be prepared for all of my classes and making a connection with my classes, but there is so much more to continuously teaching yoga to children. Through my training with YY4K, I was taught to, “spread the love.” Regardless of how I decided to teach or what catchy song I chose to use it didn’t matter. It was the underlying message and how I chose to share it.
I have been given an unbelievable gift, to be able to spread and share love with these children I encounter throughout my teaching. Instead of having to pick one day out of the year to tie in love to my class theme for the day, I ensure that we celebrate love—how that feels, what it means, and the different forms you can feel it—every class. I wish for the children today to experience love depicted in various ways every single day, and through my teaching, I have been able to empower and share love with the children I teach. And not as I remember “love” as the contagious joy that spread through my then tiny world for one glorious day. Now, I can share what is especially essential in our world today, every single day, love. “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” -Mother Teresa With Joy, Juliana