Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
What are your plans on thanksgiving? Do you Celebrate it?
Thanksgiving sounds like a wonderful day. It is a time where families get together, give thanks and eat good food. What's not to love? Admittedly I have never celebrated the day, living in Ireland and being from England so I would love to hear about anyone's experiences with the holiday first hand!
On Monday, in my children's yoga class, our theme was thanksgiving. We talked a little bit about why it is celebrated and how and then we moved on to practicing our own gratitude through a fun yoga sequence followed by a more arty expression. We then practiced some yoga for digestion, super useful for if we eat a little too much or just feel like we can help our bodies out a little.
Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.
I love the idea of having this celebration of giving thanks, surrounded by loved ones. Is it something we can do more off? Though I haven't had the pleasure to join in on one of these feasts, a strong gratitude practice has become part of our families norm.
There is often so much going on in our lives, it can all get pretty hectic. It can cause stress and a lot of pressure. Studies have shown that when our mind is stressed our body is also stressed. This means to de-stress your mind, we need to de-stress the body. When de-stressing the body it is super important to bring your focus onto a positive emotion. One I love to visit regularly is Gratitude. Setting an intention of gratitude at the beginning of your yoga practice can be a really powerful touch. Other ways in which we practice gratitude is through journaling. It is funny, once you start writing out your gratitude list, it just keeps growing. I can often fill a whole page with little effort. This isn't because my life is extraordinary, it has many struggles and challenges but because there is always something to be grateful for even when you are at your lowest. The fact that you reading this, you have access to some form of technology, you are breathing and you are able to use your vision (or perhaps hearing if you are listening to this being read to you). The more we practice gratitude, the more we find we have to be grateful for. You are here for a reason. You have purpose.
A really great book to read for the younger ones is by Dr Seus and it is called 'Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?'. It is a fun story and a great way for children to realise just how lucky we really are.
Science has shown many ways in which having a gratitude practice is good for our health. It makes us happier, more patient and reduces negative feelings. It can help our relationships with those around us as well as with ourselves. Today I was met with some confrontation. I felt angry, then upset but before biting back as I previously might have, I decided to pause. I let myself feel those emotions and I let them pass. I then stepped back into the situation with love and light. Grateful for them and grateful for the work I've been doing on myself that allowed me to react in a calm, cool way.
Thanksgiving and being around your family is wonderful, but it doesn't always come drama free. Mindfulness can keep you vibing high and meet tough situations with love or at least calm so that it doesn't turn into more than it has to be.
Do you have a regular gratitude practice?
Go ahead and think of just three things now, that you are grateful for. And please feel free to share them with me, I would love to hear.
Have a Great thanksgiving, those who are celebrating and those who aren't, maybe you would like to take this chance to start making gratitude a habit. Grateful people are the happiest people.
Love and Light,