Saturday Night at Spirit Bear Power Yoga:
A beautiful evening spent with 7 girls (ranging in ages 8-12) and 6 mom’s. I proposed the question as to what had brought the girls to this yoga retreat and they had varying answers: sports, dance, curiosity and to spend time with their mom’s. I appreciated everyone’s openess.
We all just dove into our yoga. I opened the practice with pranyama. We sat upright, and using a line from my teacher, Barbara Benagh, I had everyone feel their front body lean into their back body and in return their back body lean into their front. Explaining that these two dynamic forces connect in the middle (the spine) causing it to be stronger, more upright and more balanced. We felt the heaviness of our sit bones and our base. We also tried Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). I led the class in a Moon Salutation and then a series of restorative poses that heated us up and then cooled us down. There was a prevailing sense of calm in the room. To end our session, we did bridge pose, wheel (where I assisted each girl to get up into or expand their pose) and Viparite Karani Mudra with a block. Then either laying out in Savasana or keeping their legs up the wall, I led them in a short total body relaxation which led into the final Savasana.
We sat up, and I explained how their are 5 sounds in the universe (s-, t-, n-, m-, and a-) and by chanting them we can help to align our energies. We did a short “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation and then after explaining the meaning of Namaste (which also has all the sounds of the universe incorporated into it); we bowed to each other and gave our expression of respect. I explained how we each should feel a gratefulness to all the people who had shared the yoga experience together and to all htw people in the world.
After handing out paper, crayons and markers for journaling, I talked briefly about the Yamas of Yoga and read a story from “Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire” :
Ahimsa: non-violence to others, to the world and to ourselves.
Asteya: non-stealing, of material items, of other’s ideas, of other’s happiness.
Brahmachaya: Balance of desires, self control, respect yourself and others.
Aparigraha: Non-greediness, the letting go of possessions that are unnecessary to life.