"If every child in the world would be taught meditation.
We would eliminate violence from the world within one generation". - Dalai Lama
When we look at kids today in this rapidly growing tech savvy world, it’s hard to pinpoint who their role models are. So much of what you see on the media these days provoke the constant challenges with increased issues like cyber bullying and suicide. A real certainty is that kids overall, are making more “adult like” choices early on.
Then in an instance I came across a whole other side to this state of transparency when I discovered a young yoga heart who is taking a stand for cultural repression, finding a different voice in a more positive and spiritual context. This came in the form of a girl named Kaya who I recently stumbled upon on Instagram. While shuffling through my feed, a yoga pose photo caught my eye. Even more surprising was reading “thirteen year- old certified yoga teacher” below the image. Who knew there were kids like this around? In the same week we had just found out some news on our niece who is dealing with some issues at school, so it felt like fate when I discovered Kaya.
What is even more kismet and serendipitous is that I met Kaya’s mother at a women’s skill share gathering called Spirit Weavers. We reconnected at this year’s gathering as I was communicating with Kaya over email. After some exchange between us, Kaya gave me the assurance that all teens have hardships and that eventually they will find their path. I was so inspired by Kaya that I felt compelled to tell her story and shed light on all the young ones who are on this path.
I chose yoga because I love the spiritual side to it and that I can make it my own practice. The Yamas and Niyamas are the guidelines that I follow and practice everyday. Following these guidelines has helped me so much, they've taught me how to separate myself from the ego which allows me to have a better view on everything in life. I think it's helped me become more mature, especially at school. When there's a lot of drama among my friends I'm able to exclude myself from it. Before I started yoga, my parents had tried to get me into sports and surfing but that wasn't me. When I started 6th grade a friend invited me to a yoga class. After we finished I knew that this was what I wanted to practice. I liked that it was about challenging my body and myself and not competing with other people. I think that's another reason I love yoga, I'm not a competitive person, and in sports I had to be.
2). What inspired you to learn then want to teach your peers?
At the Soul of Yoga I met Lindsay Russo my yoga teacher and mentor. Her confidence, passion and connection with other teens inspired me to become a teacher myself. I had always thought that becoming an instructor was only something I could do when I got older, but then I got this amazing opportunity from Lindsay and I was able to embark on this journey with two of my good friends and together we became the youngest certified (female) yoga teachers in the country.
3). What are your Yoga Dreams?
My yoga dreams are to do the best that I can as a teacher to improve my teaching, and myself and to get a strong connection with the teens that I share my practice with. In my future I want to continue my yoga training in acro training, yin training and reiki healing.
"You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And you are the one who'll decided where to go". - Dr. Suess
Story + Interview by Mikki Sage