Lillarose, Grounded Student, Age 10
(Grounded elevating student since age 3.)
It was a rainy day… A perfect day to do yoga to set my day straight and to breath in my emotions. Sometimes we feel happiness, sometimes we feel sadness, sometimes we feel joy and even stress. There is good stress and there is bad stress. It’s okay to feel these emotions. Let’s honor them all, let’s talk about it and let them guide us to be the best we can be. The Focus Five Prepare to Thrive sequence will help anyone who needs to be calm, relaxed or to become more confident.
I like to think that each finger has an emotion. Think that the thumb has happiness. Breathe in happiness and send out light. The pointer finger has sadness. Breathe in sadness and allow the light to embrace the darkness, shining out. The middle finger has joy. Breathe in joy and send out light. The ring finger has stress. Breathe in stress and allow the light to hug the darkness, sending out light. And, the pinky finger has love. Breathe into love and send out love to the world. When you breathe and press your fingers together you are breathing in all these emotions. Feeling happiness, sadness, joy, stress and love are all natural emotions. Embrace them all and honor the dark, sending out love, light and comfort. When you exhale you are allowing them out and they go into other people’s breath and out into the world.
Imagine flowers… Like a Lotus flower, they are calming. They grow in dirty waters, but are really pretty. If you are in a difficult situation remember the Lotus. You can always rise out of the muck and bring beauty to any situation.
In this pose, let your head and shoulders relax. You will go in circles and in different directions just like life will take you. Try to close your eyes in this pose. Imagine life taking you somewhere. Somewhere with a cool breeze and a gentle cycle. Then, do it one more time with your eyes open and in the opposite direction. Think about where the world is taking you. Allow the water to rinse away all the dirt that is holding you back from living your life.
WAKE UP MOUNTAIN
Imagine yourself as a mountain… Strong and with a cool breeze. Imagine you are that mountain. You are feeling all the seasons (the spring, summer, winter and fall) in one swoop of wind. Bring your arms in with an inhale and feel the wind inside you. You will realize how beautiful it is. When you move your arms up, exhale and allow the wind to breeze through the world for others to experience.
LEFT BREATH RIGHT BREATH
Imagine on one side you are breathing in your doubts. On the other side, you are breathing in confidence. With both sides there is a goodness… even the doubts. The doubts help us push through to learn how to be more confident. Stand tall and strong. You are who you are.
FOCUS FIVE: PREPARE TO THRIVE
These cards are perfect to use on a rainy day, a sun shiny day or any given day. Color, practice and breathe to prepare to thrive.
The singing bowl is just the thing to help you focus, clear your mind and set the day straight.
Our children have an opinion and I feel it is important for them to be heard. In my classes I welcome discussion and I let my students know that their opinions matter. Yesterday’s classes were magically healing. My Thursday morning class at LEAD Homeschool in Avondale Estates started off the day with heart opening poses and balancing poses. My afternoon class at Decatur Yoga was very similar but we went deeper within ourselves while wringing out the muck so we could create more room for positive and clear communication (the perfect way to end the day).
When I arrived at LEAD, I saw heads hanging low and felt a shift in the energy inside the room. The girls are usually laughing and their eyes sparkle. Not yesterday. So, like I often do in all my classes I asked the kids how they are feeling and if anyone would like to share. I asked if anyone would like to set an intention so we can go from there.
One very open and honest 12 year old asked if we could focus on GAINING BALANCE. Another, also age 12 wanted to work on FORGIVENESS and HEALING. And, another requested that we work on POSITIVE COMMUNICATION. So, we sat in Easy Seat and honed in on our hearts by beginning our practice with our hands over our hearts and our eyes closed.
We spent a few moments looking inward by breathing deeply to cleanse away any judgement, frustration or anger we may of stored. We exhaled releasing anything and everything that was not serving us at that present moment. We practiced I Am What I Am to celebrate that our opinions matter.
Then, we got to work by opening our hearts in Cat Scratch Fever, Snake, Warrior I Up and Camel. We began smoothing out our edges so we could soften more and respond from a place of love by stretching our side bodies long and revisiting Dark Seed Light whenever we needed to remember our intention and reconnect with the breath.
We gained balance by rooting our feet so we could rise tall, strong and confident in Tall Mountain and Warrior I with Harmony. And, then we did the hardest work of all, we practiced No Table Yes, Calm Down, Hold On a Minute and No Whining to wring out anything holding us back from healing and moving forward.
We tested our balance, challenged our hearts and began healing through positive communication while we chose a partner so we could check our alignment of our feet and help each other find more space. We ended the practice with Do the Twist, Savasana and Lotus Breath. In Savasana, we studied ourselves by scanning our bodies and asking ourselves how we feel verses when we first arrived to class.
We reconnected with our hearts and our intentions while recognizing that our original intention may of shifted due to our emotions and our thoughts balancing out. We realized that a lot came up emotionally. We learned that when we twist and shine we create more space for love, forgiveness and healing. When we balance, get strong in our legs and connect with the ground below our feet we become more grounded and confident so we can speak easy and lovingly while not losing what matters most – our voice. When we zoom in with our breath like in Lotus Breath we experience breathing and moving in unison.
The children thanked me, hugged me and each other. One student said it was the best class she had ever experienced and when I asked her why she told me because she needed to work on her stuff, her emotions, her frustrations and find balance.
Want to build your positive mind?
Feel bright in every which way?
Breathe in BIG and stretch real wiiiiiiiiide
Exhale a Yippee Ki Yay!
To activate Positive Mind
Release worries that stick like glue
Mooooove inside your rib cage
Let out a Yabba Dabba Doo!
The negative mind is protective
fearing, “it’s just not possible”,
The positive mind takes risks
Makes the impossible, possible
Go from Negative Mind clenching
To quite Positive consequencing
Let’s head toward the Neutral Mind
~the balance that hears both sides
Make choices from a centered space.
So our Trust gets… Magnified!
Positive mind is calm, contained
and inspires expansion and boldness,
We don’t get rid of the Negative Mind,
It protect us from dangers, like coldness..
May we brighten ourselves from the inside
So we easily Yippee Ki Yay
May we see each other’s goodness
Namaste Namaste Namaste
Thank you Yogi Bhajan for the teachings
Jenni Miller for the Yippee Ki Yay when I really needed it
and Rachel Schattle for capturing the children’s radiance
This is the time of applied, intuitive consciousness.
This is the time we let our hearts open up.
This is the time we need our children to experience reality through the compassion of the heart.
This is the time I asked our Fernbank Yoga Club Students~
What do you need to feel more present?
This is the time to state your needs so we can better serve our yoga club…
Celia, fourth grade
Ellis, third grade
Beverly, fourth grade
Julia, second grade
Elena, first grade
Emily, second grade
Audrey, second grade
Lucy, first grade
Jack, third grade
…This is the time to strengthen our nervous systems, so the power of the magnetic human heart can be the force of peace.
Peace has a force to it.
It’s not passive.
This is the time to create a peaceful force to help us navigate through ups and downs, so we can really move mountains.
Let there be Peace
Let there be Peace of Mind
Let there be Peace with Mankind
Let there be Peace of the States
Let the World dwell within the Force of Peace~ Yogi Bhajan
Thank you, Traci Childress, The Mindful Reflection Project, for the “What are your needs?” inspiration.