when I became a yoga teacher almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea where it would lead me.
i really only did it because i wanted to learn more about yoga, because i was getting over the death of my grandfather, and because i wanted to have a way to make money when i went to college.
when i became a yoga teacher, i had no idea what yoga therapy was. i didn't even know it existed.
i had no idea that less then two years later, i would be devoting most of my senior year of high school to it.
i know i have talked about charity and my work with yoga therapy on this blog before.
because really, i love helping people.
most people dream of their wedding day.
i dream of going to africa to help children who need me.
most people dream of having their own baby.
i dream of helping babies already alive who need someone to love them.
yoga therapy has allowed me to make such an impact in kids lives.
when i was given the opportunity to do a senior thesis (at my high school it is optional), i said yes.
for the last 4 months, i have been studying down syndrome, autism, asperger's syndrome, and how all of these disabilities can be treated through yoga and meditation.
i'm not opposed to medical treatments.
in fact, i think that they are incredibly important.
i'm probably the quickest to take advil when i have a headache.
but i do believe that combined with medicine, yoga can help change your life.
and in what i have been researching, it's proven.
today i started something i have been working on since june.
for the past two summers, i have volunteer assisted a yoga class for children with down syndrome.
today, however, i started my own.
along with a mom with an autistic daughter, i have set up a weekly program for children with a range of disabilities.
and i couldn't be prouder.
i am proud of it. i'm not going to deny that.
the kids love yoga.
and while it was a challenge today for some of them to concentrate, i can't wait to see how they behave in weeks to come.
i know that yoga is something that has changed my life.
and i really, really love to see it help kids.
when people hear that i teach yoga to children with down syndrome and autism, they are surprised.
they have no idea they can do yoga.
when people think of yoga, they think of a calm room with everyone chanting "om" and standing on their heads.
they don't think of yoga as something that kids with disabilities can do to help with build focus and an independent lifestyle.
i guess i'm just trying to change that.
it's not just yoga therapy for them.
it's yoga therapy for me too.
because every smile they have when they accomplish a new pose, every time i get a hug from a student, and every time i hear a story about how yoga has dramatically impacted a child's life, well, that makes changes me.
it makes me believe.
it makes me stronger. and happier. and it's helped me to realize sometimes, the little things in life are the biggest things that change a person.