Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
Happy Valentine's day!
Did you know that the first valentine's day was in year 496?
While some people believe Valentine's day to be a very commercial day, it is rich with history and traditions. While the celebration has changed through the years, I think that the underlying theme of love has always been strong. When I think about love and Yoga, I think about Anahata - the fourth chakra.
The fourth chakra acts as a bridge, connecting our outer relationships with our inner worlds, joining the physical and the spiritual.
Seven themes to play with when planning your class
Choose one of these themes to focus your class around.
Seven poses to include
The breath and the heart
Our breath is one of the key components to opening the heart chakra. Bring an awareness to the breath through out the class and give one of the below practices a try with your group.
Heart meditation - Placing your hands together at the heart, closing the eyes or softening the gaze and taking a few moments just to breathe into your heart space.
Ho'oponopono Meditation - I found one on Youtube here.
Meditate on the colour green - Use colourful props or a visual journey including green spring leaves
Metta Meditation - This loving kindness meditation is a wonderful one to end with. I remember practicing this around Christmas time with one of the schools I was visiting and one of the children thought I was saying "May you live with ears" Instead of "May you live with ease". You can find many scripts online for loving kindness meditations, I will definitely share more about this at a later time.
No children's Yoga class is complete without a game or two! I like to play these games nearer the start of class or after our pose practice.
Love Tower - Write poses and actions on Jenga blocks. Play the game as normal but practicing the poses on the blocks as they get pulled out.
The Hugging Game (great for Family Yoga classes) - Hugs have so many benefits! They can strengthen our immune system, balance the nervous system and are a great way to show your love and support. It is however especially important to ensure that the child wants to be hugged. Hugging is only beneficial if it feels safe and comfortable for both parties and consent should be practiced even if your child loves hugs with you usually.
Choose someone to be the hugger. They then go to the other side of the room. They then run, skip, dance or move like and animal towards someone and gives them a big hug. They may like to stay here for about 10 seconds to allow that oxytocin to start pouring through. The person who got hugged then becomes the new hugger. This can be played with adults and their children or with children in the group. It could even be like a game of tag but with hugs!
My heart will go on -
I got to play this game with a fantastic teacher during one of my trainings. I am not sure what the name of the game was originally, but I have called it ‘my heart will go on’ because we played this to a certain popular song. This game is played in pairs. Choose a song (one that isn’t too long) and decide who will be the dancer and who will be the creator. The dancer must close their eyes while the creator moves the dancers’ body to the music. It may help to be the creator the first time you play this together and then swap. The creator moves one thing at a time such as a leg tapping up and down. The dancer must keep this momentum going. If the creator was to move the dancers' arms up and down, the dancer must keep that movement going – up and down, up and down, until the creator taps to stop or moves them into a different movement. The foot may be tapping as the creator then guides the dancers’ arm to go out and in. So multiple movements can take place but try to keep it quite simple. It can feel very free to get lost in the music and let your body be guided.
When the song is over the same song is going to be replayed. The creator will step back, and the dancer will try to recreate the dance.
Say to your group “Do you remember the dance you just did? Try to practice it without your partner moving you”
It can be so beautiful to watch this as the creator, seeing your dance really take on new life. Of course, it is going to look quite different, but it is fun to see how they remembered it in their own bodies.
The dancer and creator can then choose a new song and switch!
What else could you do in your Valentines Classes?
There is so much more you could do, you could add in some arty activities, scavenger hunts, affirmations - so many possibilities!
Looking for more Inspiration or for a gift you can give your students after class?
Check out my ultimate Valentines Day for Kids Pack on Etsy! It is at it's lowest price ever right now!
I hope these ideas will serve you well not just on Valentines Day but through out the Year - because Love is always a good theme.
Have a great day!
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