B Yoga is a peaceful space! The room is deeply set and I love all the free wall space. I was so happy when I walked in and I had a class of 15 kids, eagerly waiting for yoga. They came to a yoga studio, prepared for yoga…and it is yoga that we did.
Each day we started with breathing exercises (i.e. deep belly breaths, alternate nostril breathing). We then proceeded to poses (asanas). Each day we explored different poses and styles of yoga. We ended each yoga session with savasana (Corpse Pose).
Day One: Yoga and Journaling: I loved adding journaling to my classes. This age group was happier drawing pictures, rather than writing words, so I brought plenty of blank paper and folders for everyone. While they drew (I encouraged them to draw their feelings about yoga, poses they liked, how these poses made them feel in emotion and color…), I read to them the story of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. Hanuman –2004 publication.
Day Two: Yoga and Meditation: Today’s class was full of song and dance. We started the class with Shakta Khalsa’s Radiant Child Yoga’s “Yogini Went to Sea”. That song never fails to bring smiles to our faces and leave us all laughing at the end. I played various tracks while we did our practice and at the end we did several forms of mediation. First. We just sat in easy pose, hands cupped in our laps and focused our minds on the noise around us, hen the quite, on our breath and then on how our bodies felt. We did this silent, still meditation for one minute. Next, we tired my version of “I Am Happy, I Am Good” (please note Blog Entry on January 30, 2010). We also did “The Rockin’ Yogi’s (Found on the album Radiant Child Music: Happy). To end class, we did a rousing version of “Happy Jio”.
Day Three: Yoga and Healthy Eating: After our yoga session, I gave the kids more paper for their journals (they were sad we didn’t get to journal on the second day) and then got to work preparing a healthy snack with them. We talked about not eating too much processed food and how making things from scratch was more satisfying and somehow just tasted better. I had brought in carrots and celery I had prepared at home and two containers of plain, fat free yogurt. I brought some fresh dill in one bowl and maple syrup form a local farm in another. I had the kids add the yogurt to each container to make one sweet dip and one savory. I also made simple syrup at home and cut up a bunch of lemons. I gave each child a chance to squeeze a lemon on my awesome glass juicer that I got at a thrift store recently (my favorite purchase recently). Not sure the amount, but I would say we made a pitcher of lemonade with 16 lemons, a gallon of water and 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup (which you make with a 1:1 ration of water and sugar).
Day Four: Yoga and Mandalas: I love how kids classes go. One moment I am explaining to them what a mandala is and the next we are running all around the studio finding mandalas..in the lamp designs, on the ceiling, on our own yoga mats, on the wheel of a car driving by…so much fun! The meaning of mandala comes from Sanskrit meaning “circle”. Mandalas are geometric designs, symbolic of the universe, that are used as an aid to meditation (please note Blog Entry on December 16, 2009). I brought in many different coloring book pages of mandalas and each child looked at them and chose which ones they felt most like coloring. We spent the rest of class coloring. Some children ended class with a head stand.
Day Five: Yoga and Everything Mixed In Together: Today we all brought in a favorite stuffed animal to join us in our yoga practice. After a warm-up, each student had a chance to say their favorite pose and then all the stuffed animals had a go at it and then all the students. There were many hand stands, head stands and tree poses…I taught turtle…we also had requests for wheel, crow, downward facing dog pose and dancer’s pose. I then pulled out the folders and everyone had a chance to draw or do mandalas. We also took some time to explore the props in the studio: blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters and prayer pillows. This class could have lasted for three hours easily!
This was such a successful yoga session. I loved exploring yoga with these children and hope they all can fit yoga into their lives…just a reminder: I will be offering a youth yoga class at B Yoga, Melrose, MA starting on Friday September 17, 2010 at 4:15PM.
Come on and join me so we can enjoy yoga together!