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.
This activity came out of a need to define shinning inner light. The
concept seems vague to some kids so I wanted to find a way to connect
emotions with yoga movements in a concrete way. Doing this activity is a
way for kids to verbalize their good qualities. Some kids are very familiar
with their dark sides, and they only hear adults point out what they do
wrong. They have to be able to identify their light sides and what they do
right before they can shine their inner lights. Once they have a few
concrete images to focus on, I think they can shine these attributes as they
do the yoga poses.
Here is a simple art activity for a class with the theme of shining your
inner light, the light within.
1. Remove the label from a water bottle and cut off the bottom.
2. Cut up the sides to make “rays of light”.
3. Have the child describe his/her positive attributes and write each on a piece of torn
4. Glue the tissue paper on the rays.
5. Ask the child to choose one yoga pose from either the pose chips or pose
stickers that best represents the attributes on each ray. It can be a pose
in which he/she can let that quality shine, or a pose the child needs to do
to work on that attribute.
6. To add on to this, ask the child to put the yoga poses in order to make a yoga flow. Add transitional poses if necessary.
7. This is a great activity to support Grounded kids in the Quest for Elevation as they can teach their flow to one another or the entire class.
8. Use a suction cup in the center or tape to hang these Rays of Light in a window to catch the sun and illuminate.
“Whatever follows I AM will find you.” This sentiment can be expressed in so many ways. “Like attracts like,” “Energy follows thought.” However we choose to express it, the belief that our thoughts influence how we feel, act and interact in the world is undeniable. This idea is a rich theme and one I’ve explored deeply in Grounded classes. The following activity can serve as an introduction, a culminating project, or an ongoing art activity throughout a class series. These beautifully telling photos are from a special 3 hour Grounded gathering with some of my long time students and a few brand new ones.
Discuss this concept with your students. Create a list of all the different emotional states they can think of. Share examples from other decks of cards (see resource list). Make sure that the students understand it is natural and important to feel the whole gamut of emotions and that this deck is to serve as a reminder of who they are at the core of their being. A good example to guide this understanding is that the sun is always there, even when it is hiding behind clouds in a thunderstorm. Talk about the power of affirmations. Have the students pick one particular positive heart quality word and ask them to remember a time when they felt that way. When was it? Where were they? How did it feel in their body? Who were they with? Incorporate as many senses as possible into the recall. Repeat this guided visualization often during the process of creating the deck of cards.
What You’ll Need:
- Index Cards – 11 or more per person.
- A box to hold the cards. I used a small gift box typically used to hold jewelry.
- Watercolors & Paint. I included metallic paint.
- Markers & Pens.
- Examples of affirmation cards and a word bank of heart qualities for inspiration.
- Paper for brainstorming.
- Time & space to create.
What To Do:
After brainstorming on paper, write or paint the “I AM” statements on individual index cards. Illustrate and write a sentence that further explains the statement on the same side of the card. Design the other side of the all of the cards alike.
If you’ve never used an affirmation deck or angel cards, I suggest doing so before leading this activity. Then you will be able to incorporate your own experiences and lessons and teach from an authentic place. There are many ways to use the cards. Some people pull a card each morning as a message for the day. Others use the cards to help tune inward to find answers for specific questions.
These Create Your Own Deck of Cards are intended to empower kids with the knowledge that they are in control of their thoughts and innately good, worthy human beings.
How To Use:
Shuffle the deck until you have the urge to stop. Turn over the top card, read it and contemplate the message. While shuffling, if a card happens to drop from the pile, take it as a sign that it is meant to be your card. You can’t make a mistake with these cards because they operate with the law of attraction. This means that you will always pull the card that is right for you at that moment in time. The cards validate what you already know to be true and help you manifest the awesome life you were meant to have.
Music: “I Am” sung by Guru Singh. Album, A Game of Chants
“I Am The Light Of My Soul” & “I Am Happy” & “Sa Ta Na Ma” sung by Snatam Kaur. Album, Feeling Good Today
“I Am Happy, I Am Good” by Shakta Khalsa. Album, Happy.
“I Am What I Am” Grounded Pose (click for ideas)
I Am: Why Two Little Words Mean So Much by Wayne W. Dyer, Kristina Tracy and Stacy Heller Budnick (Mar 15, 2012)
I Think, I Am!: Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations by Louise Hay, Kristina Tracy and Manuela Schwarz (Oct 15, 2008)
Manifest Your Magnificence (64 Affirmation Cards for Kids 6-12 Years Old) by Susan Howson and Mike Polito (2002)
Fiona, age 6 is a deep Grounded Kid. Her artwork shows us that sheep put their mind into their body. We can learn to do the same.
Practice cat scratch fever to find the place in the middle. Pause there to breath deep like a sheep.
Baa, Baa, Deep Sheep,
Have you any space?
Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir
in the flow of Grace;
Curve my spine upwards,
Curve my spine down,
Then pause in the middle place
feeling safe and sound.
Stay soft and still inside and face the world connected to your mind/body.