Today although it rained I decided to lead the kids in a walking meditation. I know in the classroom where we have yoga, the teacher has placed a path of words on the floor so I decided I would use that for my walking path.
After some rich calming breaths, we lay on our backs and hugged our knees into our chests. Keeping the right leg to the chest, we extended our left leg up and then slowly brought it to the floor. I had the kids clasp their hands behind their right thigh and then straighten the right leg up. Some kids could grab a little higher and still some could actually grab hold of their big toe. We concentrated on keeping our backs on the floor and not rolling over (Supta Padangusthasana). We then brought both legs back to the chest and then repeated the exercise on the left side.
Cat and Cows.
Butterfly (baddha konasana), holding our big toes with our peace fingers and singing “Fly like a Butterfly”. Legs stretched wide open on our mats, we did a wide legged forward bend (Upavistha Konasana) and then a forward bend with one leg extended with a twist (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
Rising for Tadasana we clasped our hands behind our backs and bent foreword. Then rising again, we did standing side stretch (Parsva Tadasana)
Then a flow sequence:
Star Pose-to-Triangle (Trikonasana)-to-Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)-to- Intense Side Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana) -to-Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
Lying back on the floor in constructive rest, we let our legs first fall to the right and then the left. Followed by Happy Baby.
Next came our walking meditation. I explained that regular breath and walking helped to calm the mind. I found a great description of how to do walking meditation written by Thich Nhat Hanh (Thich Nhat Hanh is an expatriate Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist) and I read them this passage,
“Walking meditation is a meditation while walking. We walk slowly, in a relaxed way. Keeping a light smile on our lips. When we practice this way, we feel deeply at ease and our steps are those of the most secure person on Earth. All our sorrows and anxieties drop away and peace and joy fill our hearts. Anyone can do it. It only takes a little time, a little mindfulness (here I added that mindfulness means being attentive, being heedful) and the wish to be happy.”
I read them a poem also written by Thich Nhat Hanh called “Kiss the Earth”:
Walk and touch peace every moment
Walk and touch happiness every moment
Each step brings a fresh breeze
Each step makes a flower bloom
Kiss the earth with your feet
Bring the Earth your love and happiness
The earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves
I tried to have them follow a 2:2 ratio for breathing and walking, meaning 2 steps for each breath in and 2 steps for each breath out. I lead the way and had them form a single file line behind me. I suggested they use the phrase “lotus flower” or “green planet” for each breath in/out and for them to imagine this picture in their minds, so they connected with their words-they should imagine lotus flowers blooming under their feet (The lotus flower is a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth).
Ending with Savasana.