After returning from a weekend at the beach, I felt inspired to theme my class around the ocean and breathing. Both are connected as one sound. The passing of the waves are a string from the sound of breath.
I took my kids yoga class on an adventure. Inspired by Yoga Eds ‘Yoga Planet’ cards, Under the Sea activity, the kids put on their wet suites and went scuba diving. I put out different objects such as a scarf, a drumstick, a stuffed horse, yoga chips and more onto the floor, which we imagined as the ocean.
The kids pretended to put on their scuba gear and practiced their scuba breath. They got their strength and swam or crab walked through the ocean finding treasures and gold. As they moved consciously through the room they found their treasures and then once they were finished we met back in are circle. Within the circle we shared what we found on are scuba adventure.
The kids used their imaginations describing a red scarf as a crab or a drumstick as a squid. They came up with imaginary treasures such as a crown and other royal objects. I added the yoga chips in there as gold. Each yoga chip has a pose on it and once we were done sharing are treasures, we dug into the pot of gold and chose the different poses. Each pose was a piece of gold. The yoga is the gold. We felt abundant picking gold and doing the poses. The kids were shiny and blissful after savasana.
Today started my kids yoga summer camp! Perfect timing and a perfect start to the summer! We danced, we created yoga poses and we made tshirts! So much joy and happiness filled the space as we initiated the beginning of the most playful time of year!
As the children entered the room, I encouraged them to place their mats in an angle, which would create a circle. I described how our circle represented the sun and how our sun represents summer.
We began by sitting in a circle and introducing ourselves by saying our name and what summer means to us. The children replied with answers like ‘Summer is going to the pool’ to ‘Summer is going to the beach.’
Next, I explained that seasons change and that this is the beginning of summer. I explained that when summer begins we have the summer solstice. I explained the solstice in the most simple language that I could. I told them summer brings more joy, happiness and play into the lives of everyone….
To get them moving I turned on some playful music and had them get up and dance around the room. Then once their fire was ignited, I sat them back on their mats.
Here is a quick run down of the poses we did to bring in the summer:
*Community Tree….here we gathered in a circle as we held hands while standing in tree. I explained to them how trees give us shade in the summer and how they also give us shade and flowers.
*Twisty flower with bee buzzing breath
Next I wanted to encourage them to create their own poses. So I sent them to the window to gaze out and look for things that reminded them of summer.
They came back on their mats and each one told the circle what they saw and what it looked like. They demonstrated what it looked like by creating their own pose. For example, I had a boy say ‘grass’ and demonstrated the grass by standing tall with his arms over head. I asked him ‘what happens when we cut the grass?’ Each one of them replied by saying that it gets shorter. So I then showed them chair pose as a way to show ‘cut grass.’
After asana practice I handed out white tshirts and fabric markers for them to create their summer tshirts.
Once the shirts were done we laid in savasana and soaked up the solstice…
This was a joyful way to start the summer! Each of them brought home a new awareness of summer and of course a new shirt to play in!
I am looking forward to next weeks class!
Here is the link to the segment I did on Charlotte Today. Although I appear at first to be nervous, which I was, it was so fun to be there and spread my love for kids yoga. This message is so important to me because I believe in yoga and I believe in the positive impact that it will have on the future generations. http://www.wcnc.com/charlotte-today/Kid-yoga-158445905.html
Tonight in my kids yoga class I started them out in circle time and asked them to complete the sentence ‘I feel…’
As I went around the circle, I allowed each child a chance to hold ‘Guppy the finger puppet.’ They completed the sentence with answers like ‘I feel loved’ to ‘I feel happy.’ One child said ‘I feel sad…’
From a place of compassion and concern, I asked ‘why?’
She said ‘ My grandpa is in the hospital.’
In that moment, I remembered my phone conversation from earlier in the day. My mom had called to tell me that my 2 1/2 yr old nephew was in the hospital for an intense case of strep throat. I couldn’t help but mention my sorrow for both my students grandfather and my little nephew.
The class showed compassion too and in this moment we gathered in our circle with palms at the heart and dedicated the sound ‘OM’ to our sick friends and family. We opened our palms and offered peace. We took our offerings and placed them in the center of our circle. The children expressed offerings such as ‘cookies’ to ‘all things that are good for them.’
The power of compassion, love and prayer was shown in this circle. Children truly know how to channel deep spiritual love from the bottom of their BIG hearts. The power of Love and Compassion are easy places for them to access.
This short video was recorded in 2011 & is a short demo of one of my kids yoga classes. I am constantly receiving inspiration through my own practice and finding ways to incorporate it into teaching kids. I am grateful I can share this practice with kids.