*Explanation: This story was written for a client who wanted to make yoga seem accessible to children. As she was a grandmother herself, I created a plotline around those two themes.
Marcy was five, and she made sure that everyone knew it. She liked introducing herself to the people at Grandma’s yoga studio.
“Hello, I’m Marcy,” she would begin, “and I’m five years old. Would you like a fresh towel?”
Marcy loved helping Grandma out at the yoga studio. Grandma always let her say “hi” to everyone and she always offered them towels. Mama did all the bookwork for Grandma and even taught a few classes at the studio, but Marcy knew that Grandma was in charge because Grandma knew every yoga pose that ever existed.
“Grandma, will you teach me about every yoga pose that has ever existed someday?” Grandma smiled back fondly, “Someday you might know even more than I do. Marcy just laughed at that, “Oh, Grandma, that’s impossible because you know everything.”
Every day as the sky grew dark, Mama would tell Marcy to say her goodbyes to everyone at the yoga studio and they would walk upstairs to their apartment. Mama would make her dinner and sometimes she got to have ice-cream if she ate everything on her plate. Usually, Mama would read her lots and lots of books before bed, but tonight Mama sat her down on the couch for an adult conversation.
“Marcy,” Mama began, “you are becoming such a big girl. It’s time for you to start kindergarten next week.”
Marcy put on her thinking face. She loved hearing about school in all the books Mama read her, but school seemed like somewhere very far away.
“Will you and Grandma be coming to kindergarten too?” Marcy asked, seriously.
“No, Marcy. Grandma and I will still work here at the yoga studio. You will spend less time with us now that you’re a big girl, but I know that you will make so many new friends and you will love it at kindergarten.”
Marcy nodded because she wanted Mama to know that she was a big girl, but inside she was a little sad that she would have to spend so much time away from Mama and Grandma.
The next week, Marcy shared her exciting news with everyone at the yoga studio.
“I’m going to begin kindergarten next week, but don’t worry because I will still be here after I’m done with school.”
It made Marcy happy that so many of Grandma’s students told her they would miss her. Some of Grandma’s students even knew her new kindergarten teacher, Miss. Elgin, who taught at Rosewood Elementary.
“You will love her,” one lady declared, “she brings her guitar to class and sings songs with all the children. You are going to have so much fun.”
This made Marcy feel much better, and by the time Monday morning came around Marcy was very excited for school to begin.
Miss. Elgin did, in fact, bring her guitar and most of the morning was spent singing songs and getting to know each other.
Marcy came home from school wearing a huge grin. She told Mama and Grandma that she had made friends with Elsa, Monique, and Jackson, but she wanted to be friends with everyone else, too.
This made Grandma beam, “You’ve always been real friendly, Marcy. I know you’ll be friends with everyone in no time at all.”
The next day at school Miss. Elgin let the kindergarteners have a very long recess. Marcy played kickball with Jackson, but Elsa said she was too scared of balls to play that game.
Marcy had a great idea, “Elsa, how about we play yoga?” Elsa looked confused, “What is ‘yoga’?” Marcy was surprised, she thought everyone knew about yoga. “Yoga is the most amazing thing in the world,” she explained, “my Grandma is a great teacher and if you know yoga you can do all sorts of amazing things. My Grandma can even stand on her head.” Elsa agreed that this did sound amazing and she said she would like to try it out someday. Marcy decided to ask the other kids in her class if they knew about yoga, but none of them did.
That afternoon, Marcy came home from school with a thoughtful frown.
“What’s the matter, Marcy?” Mama asked.
“Why so glum?” Grandma added.
Marcy sighed, “None of the kids in my class know about yoga. How could they not know about yoga?”
Mama tried to explain, “Well, everyone has different interests and talents, and while our family knows a lot about yoga, some families know a lot about other things.”
Marcy crossed her arms. “Well, I think everyone should know about yoga.”
That made Grandma smile. Grandma looked up from her magazine and said, “Well, why don’t we teach them some yoga?”
Marcy clapped her hands and squealed, “Oh, Grandma, are you for serious?”
Grandma nodded, “Very serious. Tomorrow I’ll come to school with you and ask your teacher if it’s alright. Your Mama will cover for me at the yoga studio.”
The next morning, Miss. Elgin and Grandma made plans for the yoga class. They agreed for a special time on Friday afternoon. Marcy could not wait and the week seemed to move by slowly. Finally, Friday arrived.
Grandma got to be at school with Marcy for the whole day. Grandma sat with Marcy through the morning lesson and they ate lunch together. After lunch, Miss. Elgin called the class to attention.
“Class, we have a very special guest teacher with us today. This is Marcy’s Grandma, but she told me that everyone is welcome to call her ‘Grandma’. She is going to teach us a few things about yoga.”
A polite round of applause greeted Grandma as she walked to the front of the classroom with her yoga mat. Grandma began, “One of the most important things to remember about yoga is that it is an exercise of the mind and heart as well as the body. Some poses will be hard for you at first, but that’s okay. Listen to what your body is telling you.”
Grandma unrolled her mat and showed the class how to arrange their own mats. Marcy was so excited she could hardly stand still.
“Before we begin,” Grandma explained, “I want my Granddaughter Marcy to come up and lead the class with me.”
Marcy felt so excited. Grandma had never asked her to help lead a class. Grandma gave Marcy a high five as she walked up to the front.
“Now class,” Grandma raised her hands above her head, “Let’s begin with airplane.”
Marcy followed Grandma’s lead, showing the position to the class. After airplane, Marcy led the class into windmill, bird, and kite. She remembered the poses easily because they had such good names.
Next came queen, rag doll, and flamingo. Flamingo was Marcy’s favorite pose because she liked pretending she was a bright, pink flamingo. In fact, all of the yoga moves were fun because you could pretend to be something amazing. After flamingo came elephant, waterfall, tree, and warrior. Tree was really hard for Marcy, but this time she held the pose without losing her balance. She felt fearsome as she transitioned into warrior. After warrior, Marcy transitioned into kite again. Then she moved into wind, gate, and lion. Marcy was starting to feel tired, but performing the lion move made her feel fierce.
Frog, chair, and cat came after lion and Marcy could feel her muscles shaking. She knew that they were almost done, so she put on her brave face and kept going. Dog, butterfly, and turtle were easier for Marcy because she liked pretending to be each of the animals. Last of all came wind, boat, and candle. Marcy felt like a beacon of light as she held the candle pose. She couldn’t help but smile.
The class gave Marcy and Grandma a hearty round of applause. “That was so much fun!” many of the children exclaimed.
Grandma gave Marcy a big hug and said, “I am so proud of you.”