Today, I had the wonderful opportunity to bring yoga and mindfulness into a first grade classroom at the McCarthy Elementary School in Framingham, MA. Since September, I have been bringing yoga and mindfulness to the Fuller Middle School through the wonderful non-profit Open Spirit’s Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms project. We received a very generous grant from the Massachusetts Women’s Missionary Union for me to work with both the Special Needs and the typical population at the Fuller Middle School. It is so wonderful to see that other schools in the Framingham system are also interested in joining in on this project! Framingham is an amazing, open minded, positive approach school system! I have found my THING for sure!
Today’s Yoga Class
1. Check-In: How are you feeling?; the Guidelines for Good Yoga Class Behavior; What is Yoga?; Child’s Pose.
2. Breath-work: Hoberman Sphere breath; What is meditation?
3. Meditation: ” I am happy; I am Good” *
4. Warm-Up: bumpy camel, washing machine with Sat, Nam (explain that “nam” means “I”-you, your name and “sat” means “my truth”-I often use the example that if you lie and you get away with it, the only person who you cannot hide the truth from is yourself. You will always know your truth), cat/cow, child’s pose, morning cup of coffee….
5. Yoga Story**
6. Cool Down (end of yoga story)
8. Yoga Dance/Meditation: Yogini Went to Sea
9. Closing/Community Hand Squeeze Circle
* ” I am happy; I am good” meditation (my own spin, using vowel sounds and laughter yoga, on the meditation with the same name by Shakta Khalsa):
2x out loud (but with a quiet voice), 2x whisper, 2x in head (but continue hand movements), 2x whisper, 2x out loud (on the final time, I like to change the saying to “I am happy; I feel GREAT and really exaggerate the laughings.)
I am happy; I am good (waggle pointer fingers) x 2
A,E,I,O (hands joined at belly); A,E,I,O (hands joined at heart center); A,E,I,O (hands joined at third eye); U (throw both hands up)
Ha, ha, ha, ha (hands joined at third eye); He, he, he, he (hands joined at heart center), Ho, ho, ho, ho (hands joined at belly); Hu! ( throw hands open at sides)
At end, one big balloon breath together.
I may be just one little person (Child’s Pose) but what I do affects the world in a big way (jump up and do Star Pose).
When I plant a tree (Tree Pose)…and owl gets a new home Squat Pose with hoots)
When I pick up trash at the beach (Cross between Elephant breath and Swinging Gorilla pose with monkey sounds)…a crab has clean sand to crawl on (Crab Walk-forward, back and sideways)
When I put a feeder in the backyard (Boat Pose)…the birds have food to eat (Airplane Pose with flapping arms)
When I use a cloth grocery bag instead of paper (Downward Dog Pose with tail wags and barks)…there are more trees for the bears to climb (Bear Walk)
When I plant new flowers in the garden…bees have more nectar to eat (Flower Pose into Bat Pose with buzzing bee sounds)
When I turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth (Swipe the Peanut Butter Off Your Teeth Pose)…there is more water for the fish in the rivers (Fish Pose)
When I reduce, reuse and recycle (Lie down, bring knees in and give yourself a big hug)…there is more open land for the deer to run (bring legs up to first do single leg raises then bring them up and over in an easy inversion)
When we all pitch in a little (rock and roll to seated; Easy Twist)…it makes a big difference to our world (Full Body Stretch on floor-set up for Savasana)