“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!'” ~ Robin Williams.
Scene’s from our morning walk to school.
“Fate whispers to the Warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The Warrior whispers back, ‘I am The Storm.'”
Have you felt that storm inside of you lately? Whether it be a firey surge, rainy tears of joy, pain, sadness, surprise, windy rushes of emotion, or the tumultuous hurricane of the day to day. We feel so much! As adults we’ve learned over our years how to harness our emotions, our “feels”, and how to manage them and conduct ourselves in a way in which we’re heard and respected ~ for the most part that is! Don’t get me wrong I’ve been known to let go, scream, cry, and be wild with emotion and That.Is.OK.
Our children are a storm of emotions as well! However, they are less “edited,” more “no filter” when it comes to how they are feeling. Screaming, tantrums, floods of tears, or ridiculous bursts of happiness, whimsy ~ surely we are no stranger to our children in these states. Our kiddos don’t always have the words for these feelings. They may not articulate, “I’m hungry and don’t want that apple. I want string cheese please.” Or, “You see, it hurt my feelings when you raised your voice and asked me to stop building Legos. I was so close to finishing my knight’s castle.” Right? Instead we hear their pure, unfiltered, raw emotion. This, my friends, is our storm. And it’s inside us all.
“You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you.” ~ Isadora Duncan.
It is so important that we do not suppress our emotions, children or adults. We are wild creatures! Butttt…..we also need to go to work, not yell at our co-workers or cry. We need to get through a shopping trip at Target with our kiddos in tow. We need to just have Peace, amiright? And so, we work to learn how to manage our emotional states, how to identify what’s really going on (“I’m noticing you may not be hungry for that apple.” “I see that I’ve interrupted you while you’re building Legos & you may need 5 more minutes.”). All of this affirms that our emotions are real and that we recognize them and have words for them ~ angry, happy, sad, confused, frustrated, etc. And that these emotions matter.
When I sit with children in our yoga circles, I call these emotions “our storm.” Now here in Southern California we’ve all been experiencing rare storms all around us ~ intense wind, rain, hail ~ and it’s been wild! I connect the storm we experience outdoors with the storm inside us all, cultivating our understanding and recognition of the world around us.
By making a storm with our bodies (see below), we are able to get wild, to yell, to move, to chant….and then, quite magically, to find the calm after the storm, to gradually slow down, find our breath, close our eyes. Be still as the earth after a rainfall, as puddles shelter the rain drops and slowly dissolve.
Just as our emotions create wind and thunder within us, we have the tools, the breath, to recognize the storm and return to a state of peace.
There are many ways to build storms with our bodies. Below are some examples to try with your lil’ yogis. And from personal experience, these work for adult yogis as well ~
Wind ~ Sit in criss cross applesauce and allow the “wind” to blow you from side to side, in a circle, forward and back, to bounce. Let the wind begin to subside as you return to seated position.
Rain ~ Gently begin tapping the floor with your fingertips. Then move on to your hands. The rain will get stronger and louder. Let it go on your mat! And then gradually the rain will slow down (back to fingertips), and grow quieter until there is peace (leave your hands resting on your mat or in your lap).
Thunder & Lightening ~ From a standing position, open and close your legs & arms (as in jumping or yoga jacks). Clap your hands together to form the sound of thunder. Pause with arms overhead and hands together as though you are a bolt of lightening.
Rainbow ~ Often after a storm we see a rainbow, reminding us of the light and the magic after the storm. Let your fingers rain down to your toes from a standing position. The reach for the sun, bring your hands into your belly with a “HOT” breath, firing up your center. Repeat as often as needed, gently softening with each HOT breath. Settle into a downward dog rainbow. Relax back into child’s pose, allowing the colors of the rainbow and it’s bright light to fill you with magic, color, and light.
Please do share below how these work for you and your family! All blessings, love, and gratitude,
Join us as we welcome Autumn in Southern California! We’ll be celebrating Autumn & Peace Day with fun, snacks, and a special Autumn Yoga Sequence for toddlers, preschoolers, and caregivers. This event is free or donation based, as you feel called. Please bring a mat or blanket. (Cover Photo by Little L.A. Photography )
Happy Spring Families! Spring break in my home reminds me that it’s time to plan summer break & camps. This year our Yogi Playground Summer Camps will be held at a gorgeous studio, as well as a quick walk to Fletcher Cove by the beach in Solana Beach. And we’re offering 2 sessions! Details are below. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and/or registration information. And visit The Movement Lab website to see the great space. All Love, Beth.
It’s December! Can you feel it ~ the decorations, shopping, baking, planning, traveling? Our children can feel it too. They may be feeling it differently (cue: how many more days until….?), but as they feel our joy for the season they too may feel our stress. During this month of celebration, crafting, and gifting I try to take a moment of pause with my kiddos.
We check in.
This is also a great time for restorative yoga for the family. One way we can practice and pause is with a gentle savasana. Here are some suggestions to set the space.
~ Introduce this ritual with a brief explanation of what you’re going to do. “Let’s take a moment before we __________ to rest our bodies and minds together. Let’s check in.” Incorporate a breath if you wish by blowing up an imaginary balloon over your head (raise your arms) and slowly let out the air with your exhale (hands come to heart).
~ Lay some mats on the floor (or towels, blankets) and pillows for our heads. If you have an eye pillow or soft beanie stuffed animal you can lay this down on your eyes. Also, slide a pillow under your knees if this feels OK on your lower back.
~ Perhaps infuse an essential oil, light a candle, or spray a pleasant scent in the air. Lavender is wonderful.
~ Lay a blanket gently over your yogi.
~ Play a mantra or soft soothing music. My family loves “Ra Ma Da Sa” by Snatam Kaur, Grace.
~ Now, before you settle in for your savasana, take a moment with some lotion to gently massage your yogi’s toes, feet, ankles.
~ Gently lay down next to your family. Perhaps it’s just 2 of you. For a larger family lay in a circle. Hold hands. Snuggle. Whatever feels right.
~ Spend as much time as you wish here. If your children are younger and their flow is to move around, be OK with that. Ground yourself and your children will take notice, feel your energy, and maybe return to you or their mats.
~ When you’re ready to come back, do so with grace and ease. Gaze into each other’s eyes. Check in. How do you feel? You are ready to continue on with your day, week, month, season. Mmmmm….can you feel the shift?
We’ll be incorporating more restorative yoga in all our Yogi Playground classes this winter. Next Generation Yoga is also offering a wonderful lesson plan for your home or classes which can be purchased here.
Wishing you all a peaceful, loving holiday season!
Namaste ~ Miss Beth
Today was an uplifting day where I taught 2 yoga classes back to back at our local library. I love Mondays at the library, and this week in particular is full of light as we prepare to gather and give gratitude for all we have. Yay for Gratitude Yoga! In addition to sharing for what we are thankful (our bodies, families, yoga, dancing, and treats, to name a few), we included the powerful meditation of “Peace Begins With Me.”
This mantra is magic on so many levels! Following our high energy practice and Monday morning dance party, we found our way to the floor in either “criss cross applesauce,” aka easy seated pose, or in Hero Pose on our knees. Tapping each finger to our thumbs, one at a time, we repeat “Peace Begins with Me” ~ Peace (pointer finger) Begins (middle) With (ring) Me (pinky). As we chant we grow louder and louder, raising our voices in unison. Then we begin to grow quieter, quieter still, until we are saying it on the inside. It is in this moment where we close our eyes, move inward, feel the peace we’ve created within us. As we open our eyes, we smile and look around the circle. The room is still, silent, at peace, with only our smiles and our eyes to share our light. And yes, these are 2, 3, 4 year olds! And we are meditating!! Feeling the power of meditation, the magic of looking within.
We followed this practice with Resting Pose or savasana. Today we imagined we were floating on a cloud high above our town, over the ocean, across the world. Just as rain gently falls from a cloud, we showered the world in Peace. My heart is full.
I give gratitude every day for sharing this practice with our children. I feel grounded and optimistic. Our future with these kiddos is truly bright.
Let’s try this meditation at home! And please do let me know how it feels for you and your family.
Happy Holiday Season to all, and to all ~ Namaste & Peace.
Love, Miss Beth
Mmmm…can you feel it? The subtle, sweet transition of summer to autumn in North County San Diego ~ Join us as we celebrate Yogi Playground style! We’ll enjoy yoga under the mighty trees of Oakcrest Park, followed by dancing, hooping, autumn crafting, and more! The entire family is welcome and encouraged to join in the FUN!
This event is donation based, suggested $10-$20. All are welcome & no one is turned away! RSVP at email@example.com.
Summer Camp is back! Last year’s fun left me so inspired & I’m thrilled to bring a true summer experience to our kiddos. This year we’ll be practicing yoga in the shade under the beautiful trees at Oakcrest Park in Encinitas. Then we’ll take a short “hike” on the nature trail leading to my backyard where we’ll enjoy a week of crafting (Including T-shirt design, peace stones, painting, and more), cooking, and gardening. Each child will create and bring home their own fairy/elf garden at the end of the week! Space is limited. Please register early to secure your spot!
How can we not celebrate the Solstice here in San Diego?! Join us for an afternoon at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach where we’ll enjoy summer yoga, hooping, dancing, and treats. Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we know to expect you. All ages, All Fun!
Happy Summer Friends! Axe Axe!!!