There are quite a few things that I’m passionate about. My kids (and their interests) are usually at the forefront of what I like to do and what I find interesting, so when my daughter says, “Mom, I really want to learn how to put on make up.” Or, “Mom, can I borrow your eyeliner?” then I know that we need to start putting things together so that she can learn from an expert.
And the expert I had in mind for this very special endeavor was Cristina Madara. I had been introduced to Cristina awhile back through another good friend Cristina Gomez, and my BIL, Marco. Turns out Manila really is a small place to live in because there are less than 6 degrees of separation here…
At any rate, I proposed the idea to Cristina that we could come together to teach some teens the process of caring for themselves. My idea was to teach them how to put on make up, how to care for their skin, how to figure out what looks best on them, and how to care for their mind, body and heart through yoga.
The two part workshop was held in Palms Country Club. We were able to secure some very generous sponsors for the girls to enjoy their time with us, and their time with each other. I imagined bringing girls together who were all about 15-16 years old, some who knew each other…and others who didn’t.
When we came together for High Tea, I wanted the girls to get to know one another and to understand the skill of having a polite conversation with someone, even though you had just met them. We discussed getting to know someone and how sometimes, you have to step outside your comfort zone so that you can make new friends and acquaintances. This is not an easy skill to acquire…especially when you are a teenager and completely unsure of yourself.
The challenge in this exercise was for me to get each of the girls talking to someone whom they hadn’t met before. I wanted them to learn one new thing about one new person. It truly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but through my coaxing and suggestions of questions to pose to one another, I believe the girls understood my point.
At any rate, after we enjoyed ourselves, relaxed and enjoyed pleasant conversations over tea sandwiches, we were ready for Cristina to share her knowledge of skin care and make up application.
Cristina was not only knowledgable in everything that girls wanted to know about, she was helpful in offering simple explanations and ways to enhance their beauty that was appropriate for their age. In talking with Cristina before the workshop, I knew that we had the same ideals and were aligned in our thinking before we even prepared our guest list.
Cristina explained that when it comes to basic skin care, the girls just had to remember a few things:
- Apply Sunscreen
She also explained that because the girls’ are still very young and have beautiful skin, that there is very little that they need to apply to enhance what’s already there. The basic kit and sample products she brought or the girls to try was what I thought was a greater start to Gia’s make up bag.
Long ago, when I started my own make up kit, lots of it was hand me downs from my sister, Mary Jane, and drugstore finds that I could afford from my allowance. These items from Benefit are a little more expensive than what I started out with when I was Gia’s age, but I have confidence that by spending a little more I am giving Gia what she needs and what’s good for her skin as well. That being said, you can always find deals and steals for every day make up as long as you don’t have sensitive skin. These girls don’t need to wear expensive brands out of the gate. I leave those brands for the older Mommas (like me) who would enjoy them (can afford them), and who need more because of our ageing skin.
Cristina also explained that the girls can apply much of what she brought for them to try with their hands…keeping it simple, feeling the make up between your fingers, and applying only what the girls need to bring out the beauty of their natural features was impressed on the participants.
After our 1 hour make up session (that turned into 2 hours because the girls were having so much fun,) we were onto the next part of our afternoon together, which would be when I get to play in the yoga studio with the girls.
I have been teaching yoga to kids, tweens, and teenagers for more than 8 years now. Every time I get back in the studio and on the mat with these kids I remember exactly why I love yoga and teaching so much. There are the a-ha moments…the teachable moments, the moments of pure joy, and the moments (of sometimes) contemplative silence.
Back when I started dabbling in yoga, I realized that I felt so much better after a class. I have enjoyed all the different types of yoga that I have explored, and when I found yoga for kids back in 2006, I knew that it was something I wanted to learn more about and use an excuse to get back into the “classroom.”
There are so many benefits to practicing yoga:
- Improves your flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Perfects your posture
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
- Protects your spine
- Betters your bone health
- Increases your blood flow
- Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
- Makes you happier
- Fits into a healthy lifestyle
- Helps you focus
- Helps you sleep deeper
- Gives you peace of mind
- Increases your self esteem
- Gives you inner strength
- Builds self awareness
- Benefits your relationships
- Helps you serve others
- Encourages SELF CARE
So, imagine these benefits and the tumultuous teenage years…
Navigating adolescence is not easy. There are so many different factors that can pressure our teenage girls (and boys) which can cause them pain and strife. I know for a fact that when I was growing up I was confused, angry, sensitive, and sometimes could not express the emotions I was experiencing or EVEN why I was experiencing them!
ENTER YOGA and self care.
I wanted to share some of what I learned with the girls through my journey of exploring yoga. I just know what makes me feel good, and I believe, if we are talking about yoga…it’s all about the journey to yourself. I have shared many posts about benefits for children, benefits for adults, and why I love my Bikram practice, but for our purposes during this workshop, I just wanted to share a few pointers to help the girls take yoga home with them.
- Yoga is absolutely for everyone.
- Yoga brings your three selves together. Your heart. Your mind. Your body.
- Yoga is about being present, and in the moment.
- Finding your breath is the first step to yoga.
- You can use your breath to get you through any moment that is uncomfortable.
Some other things I passed on were poses for a good night’s sleep, poses to help with menstruation and dysmenorrhea, and poses to alleviate a headache. We talked about grounding ourselves in a heated moment, and not allowing someone to “steal” your power. We tuned into the changes happening in our body, our aches and pains, and we meditated. We meditated on peace, and calm, and beauty that radiates from within. We talked about not taking things personally, AND we envisioned what we wanted to happen in the next year.
After all of these things, I encouraged the girls to go through the magazines that BOOK SALE provided us with so that they could create “vision boards.” The girls created their vision boards with things in mind that they would like to achieve and acquire. The girls shared parts of themselves with each other and I was glad that I got to have a little bit more than an hour with them before they all went home.
Truth is, I imagine this to be the first of a series of workshops which I will offer for teens…I imagine partnering with like minded parents to bring different aspects of learning to each of the groups that sign up to learn more about themselves and about the world we live in…
Plus-these girls are super lucky that Ginger Diaz Serrano believes in the benefits of yoga as well. Each of the girls got to go home with a gift certificate that entitles them to 10 days of FREE yoga from Bikram Yoga Alabang.
This entire workshop would not be possible without our sponsors.
Thank you Palms Country Club for sponsoring our tea, our venue, and believing that girls need guidance and classes like these just in time for Women’s International Month!
Thank you Bikram Yoga Alabang for encouraging the girls to explore yoga more and gifting them GC’s to try out different types of yoga with your experienced teachers.
Thank you BOOK SALE for sending over all of the health and beauty magazines that the girls used to put together their vision boards.
And THANK YOU Mike and Millie from MRL Lightworkz Photography for always supporting my endeavors, and for covering my events despite your busy schedule.