I Am What I Am Grounded Yoga Pose
SA: Touch thumb to first finger and say SA which means Infinite.
TA: Touch thumb to second finger and say TA which means Birth.
NA: Touch thumb to third finger and say NA which means Ending.
MA: Touch thumb to pinky finger and say MA which means Rebirth.
This is a traditional Kundalini Yoga chant that activates specific pressure points that help energy flow to the brain. We love this chant and first realized its transformational quality and how much all kids love it in the Radiant Child Yoga Program training with Shakta Kaur Khalsa.
Imagine yourself opening the door and seeing a gift wrapped in a beautifully decorated package labeled Special Delivery. Your face shows what you see; what you are thinking at the moment. Our first reaction when we come into contact with another human being is not necessarily an indication of what may be in our heart. How many times have you been too busy to smile and show how happy you are to see your child when he walks into the room? Have you ever been so focused on the outcome of a session with a student that your greeting is less than inviting? How can we allow our face to reflect the bright light of a child without filtering it through the preconceptions, instant judgements or clutter of the mind?
All children, especially those who have been labeled as “Special Needs,” are keenly aware of the subtle energy of adults. In other words, you can’t hide behind a smile or say one thing while believing another. They will know and what you teach them through mixed messages is that either adults can’t be trusted or that they can’t trust their intuition. Since it’s natural to notice differences as a way of making sense of things and most of us have been sizing up kids for years, that screaming kid at the grocery store, the student who doesn’t make eye contact, the boy who obviously eats too much candy, the girl who is just not paying attention, we need a surefire way to literally change our mind. The solution is simple and works every time when it is the first thing you do, always. See the good. This is the most important element to an Anusara® yoga class and (of course) Grounded teachers do it too! It is the Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness. When you are grounded in this truth, you realize that there is no need to fix a child but rather help to reveal the perfection that is already there. As Allison Morgan, MA, OTR and Radiant Child Yoga Trainer writes, “Don’t try to create change based on what children don’t have, or can’t do. Look deeper and acknowledge what they can do. Let them know that you notice.” What we feed, focus on and give energy to grows. Eric Handel, MD and Nobel Prize winner for work on memory says that “we can live with our weaknesses when we cultivate and grow our strengths.” It is our call to action as adults to show children their strengths.
Yoga is an invitation to this revelation. That’s why yoga helps all learning for every child. There’s a booming branch of yoga for kids called “yoga for kids with special needs.” What we have found to be true is that the yoga teachers, OTs, PTs and parents who have the greatest success stories working with this growing population treat the kids and not the diagnosis. Here are a few grounded tips.
- Look for the good first and always.
- Find out if the individual has anything going on in their life that would require you to modify a pose or a pose category such as inversions.
- Start with the breath and then move into poses.
- If a pose, a chant or a breathing technique helps the person feel better, do it often.
- Be sensitive enough to know why a child may be resisting a certain pose and change your plan when necessary.
Shakta Khalsa, founder of Radiant Child Yoga, asks the question “When you look at me, what do you see?” May you always see the gift, no matter the package.