Tag Archives: childrens yoga

Yogic Road Tripping

Heading out on the road this summer with the kids and looking for some fun music that will uplift will bringing calmness and serenity to your family? Want something that will make you feel good while listening to the continuous “are we there yet?!” Actually, if you are practicing some of this car yoga, you may end some of the famous “are we there yet” questions.

Check out this fantastic playlist that has some of my favourite yoga music and tunes we use in our kids yoga classes!

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Get Your Yoga On….At the Park!

Heading to the park with the kiddies and enjoying the warm summer?  Head on over to Tools for Schools and check out  my post on a fun yoga game that gets all the kids involved, moving and having fun!

http://www.toolsforschools.ca/blog/?p=987

Car Yoga

Schools out and summer holidays are here. Along with this comes day camp, sleeping in and of course summer vacations!  As parents at times we need a vacation to recover from the vacation we just had with our family. The list making of what to bring, the packing of suitcases, bringing food along for the drive, packing games and activities for the car and making sure pets are taken care of while you are away and the mail brought in, is just the beginning preparation of getting away as a family.  My husband and I, being new parents, just took our first family vacation.  The amount of stuff we had to bring with an infant and the two of us was out of this world!  You can read about our journey at http://namastemommy.wordpress.com

If you have a long car ride ahead you may be a little worried about the possible endless “are we there yet?” requests.  Why not do a little yoga in the car to calm your own nerves while having fun with the kids piled in the back of the van?

1)      Tense & Relax- tighten up your whole body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Scrunch up your faces while you do it and see who has the funniest face! Then relax your whole body, becoming limp like a piece of cooked spaghetti. Relax your cheeks, mouth, shoulders, arms, etc.

2)      Visualization- Take a look out your window and find a tree that catches your attention. Maybe it was the tallest one you saw, shortest one, had many leaves, large branches, etc. Then close your eyes and visualize that tree in your mind. Can you remember what the branches looked like? Was the tree was blowing in the wind or standing still? Was the tree close to the road or farther away in a field?

3)      Cooling Breath- feeling a little overheated while in the car full of your luggage and your kids? Kids complaining that their sibling is looking at them or has happened to touch them (gasp!) Take time out to chill your mind and bring down your internal body heat with this cooling breathe. Stick out your tongue (not at each other!) and roll it to mimic a drinking straw. Slowly inhale through your “straw”, feeling the air become cool as it travels over your tongue and down into your body. Exhale through your nose. Continue to inhale through your “straw” and exhale through your nose until everybody in the car is laughing and enjoying the car ride together. Well, for now anyways

Namaste

~Amanda

The Cracked Pot

This story is an excerpt from The Treasure In Your Heart: Yoga & Stories for Peaceful Children (Mystic Yoga Studio, 2008).  This article came from Yoga Journal. I highly recommend you visit their site for great information on expanding your yoga practice and lifestyle.

Sydney Solis informed Yoga Journal she tells this Hindu tale to teach kids to honor and imperfection.

Every day, a farmer carried two pots to the river to fetch water.  Each pot hung on the end of a pole across his shoulders. The pot on his right side was new and perfect. The pot on his left side was older and had a crack in its side.

The new pot brought back all the water the farmer put into it. But the cracked pot leaked out water in a little trail. This went on day after day for two years. The little cracked pot felt terrible. “I am so ashamed of my imperfection!” One day, it spoke to the farmer: “I must apologize. I only deliver half my load because I leak out water all the way back to your house. You should just get ride of me!”

The farmer said, “Do not despair. Look behind you. Do you not see those beautiful flowers along the path? Those are on the left side where I carry you. I knew about your special feature so I planted flower seeds, and you have watered those sees as I walked home. Thanks to you, I have fresh flowers on my table. Thank you, little cracked pot. You are very special.”

The Lorax

I regularly incorporate books into our Little Lotus preschool & school age classes. It is a wonderful way to share powerful messages in a fun way that captures the attention of all.  I am absolutely in love with the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  First published in the early 1970’s I find most parents of my students are familiar with this book and some families already have it in their repertoire of reading. If this book is not a part of your current family library I highly recommend that you consider its addition a valuable resource.

The book details what happens to the environment when the Oncler, who was fond of the great Truffala trees, decided to set up shop and begin production of turning the truffala trees into thneeds “something everyone needs”, a garmet of some sort.  The Lorax arrives, to speak for the trees, to stop the production of thneeds and help protect the environment. You see the trees produce wonderful fruits that feed the surrounding animals (Bar-ba-loots), and the pond where the Humming Fish swim is now being polluted due to the high production of the truffula trees to thneeds. There is no place for the fish to swim as their water becomes brown and murky and the swomee swans need to leave what was once a clean and safe place to live.  In the end, due to the Oncler’s greediness, there are no trees left. However, one last little Truffula seed is found, which is thrown out to you the reader, to plant the seed, take care of its growth and nurture it grow.  Basically, the seed is thrown to the reader to make the decision of what they will do with the one last seed that is left. Will you take care of it? nurture it and invite the re-growth of the Truffala trees and bring back all the wonderful creatures that once lived there?

This book always brings forth a great conversation, no matter the age-group, on protecting our environment, what happens when pollution occurs, how we can protect the earth and create an everlasting environment that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Here are some questions you may wish to engage your child in:

1. How did you like the Truffula tree and the pond where the Humming Fish swam at the start of the book. (You  may wish to sort back through to show the picture again of the bountiful trees and fresh blue water)

2. What happened to the trees and the pond when the Oncler began a large production of making thneeds?

3.  Where would you prefer to live (where the Truffula trees are still in tact & Bar-ba-loots enjoy the bountiful fruit, or where the trees have all been cut and the brown murky water pond)  and why?

4. How can we, as a family, help in protecting the earth and our environment? What can we do if we find garbage at the park when we go for a play? Why do we compost or recycle and do you like doing these things to help the earth stay healthy?

5. Consider planting a tree or plant with your family and nurture it to growth together.  Would your child like to do this and what responsibilities would they like to take on to make sure it thrives? will they aid in the actual planting? daily watering? ensuring it gets enough sunlight?

What are you doing already as a family to nurture our wonderful Mother Nature and make sure there is a thriving environment for our future generations? Please share so we can learn from each other and work towards a cleaner and safer Planet Earth 🙂

Namaste

~A

Yoga Kids Silly to Calm

Get up and get moving with your little yogi this afternoon! Looking to add a dvd to your collection, or trying to find a fun gift for a birthday present? Check out Marsha Wenig’s Yoga Kids series. Here is a demo for you to try out!  Have fun 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X8M-3OQU8k

Namaste

~A

Yoga “Seeing the Whole Picture” -Part 3

Welcome back! Here you will discover Part 3 of our Yoga “Seeing the Whole Picture” series.  We typically think of yoga postures and movements when we think of yoga, however as you  may have discovered in our posts there is so much more fun to be found 🙂  Our goal with our yoga series is to bring you ideas of how you may incorporate yoga into your families life, in small ways that bring large impact.  Enjoy the last 6 limbs of yoga from Patanjali and remember to take time and dive into some yoga each day with your little yogi!

ASANA– Patanjali’s third limb of yoga is asana, the posture practice of yoga. The practice of asana brings forth discipline, internal strength (mind and body), and the concentration that is necessary for meditation. Little Lotus yogis participate in asana classes during their class sessions, and are encouraged to incorporate their physical practice at home with their family as well. Create a welcoming environment for your child to share with you what they are learning in class. Set aside a special time each day to share in a short asana practice with your child(ren). There are also great dvd’s available for children who want to practice at home.

PRANAYAMA– The fourth limb of yoga is pranayama. Prana= life force Pranayama= control of the breath. Through various breath exercises the body is purified and the mind is stilled. This enables the yogi to enhance their concentration and assist in making meditation more attainable. Little Lotus yogi’s are encouraged to experience with their breath and deepen their breath with deep belly breathing. Ask your little yogi to show you their balloon breathing (deep abdominal breathing) and how to make wind with their mouth and nose. Older yogis are encouraged to develop skills for alternate nostril breathing, kapalabhati and sitali breathing exercises.

PRATYAHARA– The fifth limb of yoga is pratyahara. Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses from the external environment and creating a focus with the internal self. This can be seen as a form of concentration.  A form of concentration that brings forth awareness within the body. In a world where we are continually multi-tasking it can be extremely challenging to withdraw from the external world and environment to focus within. Little Lotus yogi’s are invited to withdraw their senses from the external environment through the development of listening skills, then increasing quiet time and tuning into the body. Older Little Lotus yogis begin to tune into the body by following the breath and mantra’s. Encourage your preschool child to take time each day to participate in quiet activities and activities that require directed attention (i.e .coloring, school homework, reading, yoga) and to practice listening. Guided story meditations and recordings may be enjoyable for your child and family. Take time out to focus within the body each and every day withdrawing from the noise of cars, and chores to be completed.

DHARANA – The sixth limb of yoga is dharana. Dharana is achieved by directing the attention to a fixed point, in the form of an idea, object, place, sensation, mantra, the breath or an image. In a society where we are always multi tasking it can be challenging to allow the self to be fully present, complete in the moment and focused. Once the mind directs its attention to a fixed point it may begin to wander. When you recognize the mind has wandered from its fixed point or object, and at times this may occur without notice, bring it back to the point of focus. Over time the mind will wander less frequently and becomes clearer and still. Invite your little yogi to spend quality and peaceful times with you while you sit quietly looking into a candle flame (be safe!), focus within on your breath, recite a mantra or focus on an image. Encourage your child to stay focused on the object or place for as long as they feel comfortable. Ensure that there is never negativity or pressure associated with this special quiet time.

DHYANA– The seventh limb of yoga is dhyana. Dhyana occurs when a continuous flow of cognition towards an object or image happens within. Dhyana is a meditative state where no thoughts intrude and the vritti (internal chatter) begins to wind down. It takes effort to achieve dhyana but once that state is entered there are no struggles to maintain a continuous flow of the mind. The mind in meditation is peaceful, clear and one-pointed. All three of these things must be present at the same time. Dhyana comes when you have developed a deep connection to stillness through meditation. Over time and practice of dharana, dhyana will naturally occur. Set aside time to meditate and be still regularly and see the benefits that you and your family receive!

SAMADHI­ The eighth and final limb of yoga is Samadhi. Samadhi is the highest state of consciousness and internal bliss, free from all suffering, attachments and judgments. It is a spiritual experience that brings forth pure consciousness that is void of any attached thoughts. One who experiences Samadhi merges with the divine and is One with the Universe. Samadhi brings forth realization of the ego and that the soul and divine are what is real within each individual.
The soul and divine never die, but live on after the physical body has passed. Little Lotus yogi’s participate in activities that bring forth the understanding that every individual is equal, regardless of age, colour, sex, etc. Encourage your child to do things that bring forth happiness and joy with emphasis on non-attachment (of toys, activities) and not judging (people, thoughts, behaviors). Only once the limbs before have been practiced and maintained will the door to Samadhi begin to open. Remember it’s a journey and to take time along the way to be present and enjoy the moment each and every day.

Namaste

~Amanda