Last year I was published in the Huffington Post with an article entitled “My Favorite Student.” I had only known Olivia for about 3 weeks prior to publishing it, but she already had such a huge space in my heart. Every time we’re together she melts my heart with her wisdom and innocence. She is beautiful inside and out and one of the kindest and sweetest souls I have ever encountered. I bow to her for teaching myself and our teachers as much as she does.
This past month Olivia was our second ambassador for Barefoot Yoga Shala and to say I am proud doesn’t even cover it. I am honored and humbled by her words. Her interview proves how mature she is and that beautiful wisdom in her heart.
1) How did you find out about yoga? What made you want to try your first class?
I found out about yoga through word of mouth. Since I have major anxiety I heard that yoga was a great coping mechanism. To try it out I went online and watched many yoga videos and tried to follow along. I fell in love with it, and my dad signed me up!
2) You’re only 13!! How did you decide yoga was right for you?
I loved the idea of yoga. The deep breathing, connecting to yourself. I needed both of those things in my life. Yoga doesn’t have an age limit. At this very moment Jenny’s baby could be doing yoga in her belly, and an eighty year old could be doing yoga as well. Being thirteen is no limit, and I just love that.
3) What’s your favorite part of class?
My absolute favorite part of class is savasana. That’s when you can just lie there reflecting on your practice or life. It’s when you can quiet things down, or if you’re like me you can imagine a roomy spot in your house where you can show off your next headstand! Then it all ends with an assist from Jenny with lavender oil which is heaven on earth.
4) What’s your favorite pose?
5) Do you have any advice for other 13 year olds who want to try yoga?
To any other thirteen year old girls who are going through anxiety, depression or are just wanting to do yoga, I have two words for you: DO IT!!! Yoga has completely changed my life for the better in so many ways. Not just physically, but emotionally. Jenny is the perfect person. Although she may disagree and say “nobody’s perfect” in her calming Jenny voice, she could never do wrong in my eyes.
If anyone is like me and nervous to try new things, I just say try it and Jenny will make it an easy adjustment for you. “To get something you have never has, you have to try something that you have never done.”
Humbled and honored doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’m crying as I re-read her words. Crying with joy as she melts my heart (and no, I am not perfect, but to be viewed as such by Olivia is the perfect gift). Crying with sadness that not every child in this world gets the opportunity to calm their hearts and minds with yoga. And crying because she GETS IT. She truly understands what yoga means and is honestly my favorite student.