“I Can Do That For Myself” – Empowering Girls Through Yoga Calm

When I was a counselor, I used to tell the young girls about the time I got suspended from school for a week. “I got in BIG trouble,” I’d say, then ask them to guess what I did.

Usually they’d guess that I had skipped school. Or had said something really mean. Or had hurt someone.

“No,” I’d say after a few minutes of guessing. “I wore pants to school.” Invariably, they’d look at me with shocked disbelief.

girls at playground“When I was in school,” I’d explain, “girls weren’t allowed to wear pants. We had to wear dresses. So one snowy day, some girlfriends and I decided to rebel. We all wore pants under our dresses. We thought there would be safety in numbers. But it didn’t work. We all got sent home and suspended.”

Things have sure changed! When I first started working as a teacher, I actually cried to see girls sliding into third base, hanging upside down on the monkey bars, and swinging as high as they could without worrying about their underwear showing! I felt proud to be a small part of the movement toward change.

Girl Power Takes Center Stage

Reminders of that change are everywhere these days – perhaps most notably in the fact that we may soon have, finally, our first female president. Regardless of personal feelings or political leanings, you have to admit that Hillary Clinton has achieved something amazing in being the first female presidential candidate for a major party.

Simone BilesSimilarly, throughout the Olympics, we’ve seen incredible displays of women’s strength, skill, and agility. Katie Ledecky has eclipsed Michael Phelps. Simone Biles has achieved superstar status as possibly the greatest gymnast of all time.

“I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles,” the gold medalist told reporters.

Talk about confidence. Talk about pride. Talk about a beautiful moment for girl power!

You look at women like these, and you realize what a girl can become when she puts her mind to something and has the support to make it happen.

Creating an Even Better Future for Our Daughters

One time in a girls’ Yoga Calm group I was leading, as we were encouraging the girls to dream about their future goals, one girl whose mother had struggled to find work and make a stable living said, “Even though my mom wasn’t able to have a good career, I can do that for myself. I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up.”

women voteWe all have to continue to dream our way into a better future for our daughters. Once upon a time, women couldn’t even vote. Now, girls can truly believe that a woman can hold the office of President of the United States – and can see the strength and fortitude it took to get to this point where women not only have political voice but power, as dramatized in the recent film Suffragette.

In addition, as consensus-builders and with an orientation toward family and community, female leaders bring a needed missing element to our world. And we can help develop both grit and these heartfelt leadership skills in both our girls and boys through Yoga Calm’s unique integration of SEL, mindfulness, leadership training, and physical fitness.

Here is a neat program Katie Thune created after becoming certified in Yoga Calm. The “Power of Me” is a Yoga Calm-based approach to empowering girls’ inner spirit and building their self-esteem. The program also covers stress management, the emotions girls have going through puberty, body image, relationships, and how to express emotions in a healthy way.

Want to start helping girls with Yoga Calm? Here’s a sample lesson plan for 5th grade girls from our Membership Program library of over 600 plans. It’s from Danette Jones, a Minnesota-based school social worker/psychotherapist.

Given support, skills, and a wide variety of role models, every girl can create the future of her dreams. As novelist Roman Payne has so beautifully put it,

The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.

For access to our lesson plan library – as well as training videos, online courses, product discounts, and more – become a Certified Yoga Calm Instructor. Learn more.

Have a story of your work with Yoga Calm and girls? Drop us a note in the comments section below.

Playground image by Steven Depolo, via Flickr;
Simone Biles image by Agencia Brasil Fotografias, via Wikimedia Commons

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