Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Welcome to the Jungle
This past Saturday was rainy, cold, damp and dreary. I felt like I was in Seattle, not Sioux Falls. However, at East Bank Yoga, where I teach Yogi Junior, I was on safari in the jungle. We had an exciting adventure!
I start my classes out with breathing exercises. Since we were in the jungle, I decided to use Lion Breath as our focus.
The best instructions I’ve found for kids was here (http://kidsrelaxation.com/2011/06/15/lions-breath/)
Suggest: “Imagine that you are a mighty lion. You have a giant roar. Sit cross-legged and sit up tall like a proud lion. And get ready to let your roar go.”
Model: “I’m going to think of a feeling that I would like to let go, or a thought that I want to release. Now I squeeze my hands in fists, holding tight that feeling or thought and scrunch up my face getting ready to roar. I take a deep breath in and let my roar out, sticking my tongue out at the same time and stretching my arms out wide in front of me, opening my hands wide.”
Guide: “Now it is your turn. Sit up tall. Think of the feeling or thought that you would like to roar out. Scrunch that feeling or thought into your hands and pull them up tight in front of you. Now scrunch up your face tight. Take a deep breath in. And. . . ROAR!!!!! it out, sticking your tongue out and letting your arms and hand stretch out wide in front of you. Excellent!!!! Let’s try it a few more times. Really ROAR!! it out!!!!!
Then we played a game of Yogi Says. Its like Simon Says, only with yoga asanas (poses). Little Man loves playing this game at home too! The kids had so much fun.
We read Yoga for Elephants-a Babar book. I love Babar the Elephant, and those stories take me back to my child hood. While I loved the story, I don’t think that the kids were as excited about it as I was.
Our flow was all about jungle animals. We went around the room as monkeys and gorillas, swinging from vine to vine and running around. Then we did Tarzan yells, which were a big hit. Elephants washing themselves at the river, being a river rock (child’s pose), a cobra on a tree branch, giraffe (reaching for the sky from mountain pose) and tree being eaten by giraffe rounded out our menagerie.
We ended with the peace tree guided meditation from here http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3942/3-Ways-to-Get-Your-Kids-Living-MindBodyGreen.html
Child's Meditation: As you lay down with your eyes closed, feel the coolness of the air going through your nose, filling your chest and belly. As you breathe out, feel the warmth of your breath as you exhale any sad or frustrating things that may have happened during your day. Breathe in and out softly and quietly. See yourself in your most favorite, happy place: the beach, a mountaintop, a green field, or floating on a cloud. When you get there, see yourself lying under the most beautiful, strong and gigantic Peace Tree. This Peace Tree extends its branches over you and invites you to trade your worries for peace. (With older kids, you can explain how trees give off oxygen and how oxygen is life giving. As they exhale their worries, they release toxic carbon dioxide.) You can express your worries by writing, drawing or telling it to your Peace Tree. This Tree has so much peace there is nothing you can’t share with it. After you release your concerns, see yourself being filled with peace, love and happiness. You have a huge smile on your face. Get up and dance around in your mind. Twirl, laugh, jump, fly or take a walk around your happy place. Freeze wherever you are and breathe in and out softly through your nose. Bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly. Say, “I am thankful for this moment.”
I handed out a really cool lion’s pose coloring sheet and some jungle animal instant animals.
Too bad it was still cold and damp when we left…