Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bullies and Warriors


 ...had just one student for yoga at the shelter last night...a teenage boy who’s become one of our regulars...nice kid...maybe a little too nice, my cynical, wounded self couldn’t help thinking last week when he said he’d just started eighth grade...and, last night, when asked how he was feeling, at the beginning of class, he said he was stressed...specifically, from dealing with bullies at school....which made me feel sad...and angry...
 
...decided to focus our little class on de-stressing...going slowly, lots of attention to breathing, loosening up the neck and upper back, where tension headaches are born....but also thought about something that was talked about a lot in teacher training, the importance of creating safe space...realizing that this means a lot more than not pushing students into difficult poses where they might hurt themselves...

...that this is what warrior poses are all about....that it’s all too easy for adults to talk about not taking it personally, or even fighting back, without actually having to face that daily ordeal of trying to get from first period to last, from bus ride to bus ride, with both body and sense of self-worth intact...that this is where the inner safe space and the inner warrior need to be cultivated and nurtured...yoga pants and yoga butts be damned, that this is what really counts...


image: Virabhadra Daksha

9 comments:

berenice said...

hi Dr. Jay, what a great thing to do for a kid that is being bullied, create that safe space for him, now this is a wonderful application of yoga! I can relate a bit, thankfully I am not being bullied at work and being an adult, as you wrote, is somehow easier to control one's emotions, I can always quit, find another job, etc. but I remember the childhood and teenager feelings when you truly see NO escape from these harmful situations, blessed are you that can share your yoga knowledge to truly help a teenage soul in need, niiiiice!!

Diane H. 37 therapist/mom said...

I regretfully admit being one of those adults who works with adolescents who has said something similar to “don’t take it personally” early in my career. I remember knowing it wasn’t very helpful, but being someone who had never really been bullied, I didn’t know what else to say. My first experience of being bullied was in my late 30’s. I think your intervention was perfect for any student...14 or 40! Thank you Jay!

Meredith LeBlanc said...

Yes, yes, yes. Warriors for ourselves to be strong and loving, and to face each day with grace.

Lydia said...

This post actually made me cry, Jay. What a powerful piece. Damn, I've been away too long from here.

the walking man said...

I was bullied constantly from age 8 to 14 then I grew to 5' 11" 240 lbs. That's when I learned there is no safe space. Oddly enough I felt much safer beating the shit out of a bully than being beat by one. I am too old to do that any more but I still am not afraid anymore and I will always step in when my heart tells me to. I suffered enough for 1000000000 kids and see no need to allow one who doesn't have to, to allow it in my presence.

Mrs Midnite said...

Great post, I remember the stress of school it makes work seem so much easier. I'd love to know more about making a safe place to hide from my inner critic. When it gets going its harsher than most bullies!

James said...

Hi,
Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Yoga Community? Our members will appreciate it.
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Yoga Articles said...

You have written a nice article . . It can be more good if you move this blog to your personal website . . .

Feathered Pipe said...

Great post. It become emotional to me after reading. Great...artical