“Bertie could smell the scent that she used, the scent that he had always liked. It was lavender….in his mind it was the smell of kindness”
-Alexander McCall Smith (44 Scotland Street series)
A while back I had the epiphany that I must have been insane in assuming that the role of motherhood would be so facile if one truly contemplated all that our children are faced with in these current times. Coupled with this fact was the reality that my children rarely listened to the advice of their mother, despite my consorted efforts to always offer proper guidance. Fortunately for me there is an “angel” in our lives whom my teenage daughters admire, respect and follow.
Several years ago I enrolled my girls in a teen yoga class. Their teacher, Ann, is a petite woman with kind eyes and a sunny disposition. The girls viewed these classes as an opportunity to meet up with newly acquired friends and stretch/strengthen their bodies.
However, hidden beneath were valuable lessons imparted to them by Ann. She incorporated a dharma talk at the onset of class where topics of negative peer pressure, poor body image, self- esteem issues and dealing with anxiety related to school/relationships were discussed. This was followed by active asanas, a cool down savasana and finally a culminating group chant of “OM”.
It wasn’t until recently that both of my daughters finally understood how much being in this environment with such a sage-like teacher was a tremendous benefit to them. They have both remarked on numerous occasions how Ann’s breathing exercises help them through rough exams and anxiety provoking situations. They remember the words she wrote on the ceramic butterflies she gifted them one year “I am already whole and complete. Anything I think I am missing is my imagination”.
Ann has recently ceased teaching teen yoga classes. However, my girls are now old enough to attend Ann’s adult classes and have allowed me to participate as well. Imagine the joy I feel in being able to engage and share with my daughters in such a positive endeavor.
I am overcome with gratitude towards Ann for she has empowered my girls, fostered the qualities of good character within them, provided a sanctuary where they felt free to express their feelings and gave them essential tools in order to live more blessed and contented lives.
Ann does not wear perfume but the fragrance I most associate with her is pure essential lavender oil, the oil she rubs on our temples and third eye at the conclusion of class. She is truly our “ange de lavandre”.
It’s lovely to see you again Brie! Where have you been, I missed you!
Your girls have some very good role models in you and Ann.
Those butterflies seem like perfect gifts for girls at that age. I took my niece to a yoga class once to have one of those bonding moments. The teacher wasn’t the regular one and it wasn’t a good class. It was really hard and she went way past the hour mark. We both were not ready for that. I remember looking over at my niece while in a particularly pretzel like pose and seeing her fall over as if in slow motion. Of course I laughed and fell over as well. Neither of us could regain our composure after that. We laugh about it but I don’t think she’ll ever go to yoga with me again.