A Moment of Pause ~

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.

andrerestorativeWe stop.

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.

bethfootrub

~ 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?

holdinghands

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

Peace Begins With Me ~

powerpeaceToday 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

peacesymbol

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

beachylu

 

It’s Dr. Seuss week! All week long we’ll be practicing yoga inspired by our beloved author. I sure hope Sam-I-Am doesn’t ask me to try green eggs & ham! But then again, you never know until you try, right?

Love, Beth

…And Out Like a Lamb

April is upon us. This week we culminated many of our class sessions, and prepared for Spring Break. Culminations are always such a special time as we get to share our favorite poses, try new games, and, this week, I introduced “Yoga Buddies” to my preschool classes. Our Buddies helped us review some poses as well as sit on our bellies while we breathed, and cuddled up with us during seaweed savasana.

My first grade class took turns in Pom Pom races (using straws and pom poms), and lead the class in Yogi Says! My younger classes experimented with a version of Duck Duck Goose, called Yogi Yogi Dog. This game is an excellent intro to partner poses as well, as children crawl or slither underneath another’s downward facing dog.

I wish all my families much peace and laughter this spring break, and I look forward to our return in April….just in time for Earth Day!

Namaste! And Hello to a New Day!

Friday Class Reflections

In an effort to keep all my Yogi Playground parents up to date with all the fun themes and happenings in our circle, I’ll be posting Friday Class Reflections each week.

Oh March! Comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb….much like we do when we practice yoga! This month our classes remind us to take time to breathe, and of course this week we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day! What are some symbols we see around St. Patty’s Day? What does it mean to be lucky? What of this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? This week, we meditated on Luck, or as I call them, Blessings. What are we lucky to have in our lives?

For my preschool classes, we played a game where we learned some new, and reviewed some familiar, poses. These included Rainbow Pose (with a partner!), 3 and 4 leaf clover pose, pot o’gold pose, and leprechaun where we had the opportunity to show off some of our own cool ‘tricks’ on our mats (thanks to one of my first graders who reminded me of the Leprechaun! Our children are so wonderfully creative).

In my first grade class we also explored these poses in more challenging ways, and told a group story of The Warrior and his search for the pot of gold. Our Warrior was finding himself in all sorts of predicaments, but when he finally went home and was still for a moment, he realized he had the pot o’gold the whole time, for his life was full of luck and blessings. He didn’t need more, but was appreciative of what he already had.

Our yogis also explored the Singing Bowl (our own pot of gold). The room filled with blessings as each  yogi tapped the bowl and filled it with something for which they are thankful.

As one preschooler said, “I’m thankful for all that surrounds me, and my teachers and yoga.” Heart melt.

All my classes went home with their own Pot O’Gold drawing, inspired by Alluem Yoga Kids.

It reads,

Rainbows hold treasures for both young & old, but what’s inside my pot is more precious than gold.”

How would you fill your pot?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and many Blessings to All!

 

Peaceful Pause

 

Lately, I’ve been

Melting into slumber and cozying up in our new quilt, crafted with love by my Gram Ginny’s 91 year old hands, adorning our family bed.

Remembering fondly how fun and imaginative cardboard boxes can be for a child and brother, particularly one so large it carried a quilt!

Measuring slow, steady breaths and reminding myself that everything does not need to happen at this moment.

Listening to detailed adventures of a Transformer named Furno and his friend The Magnetic Superhero.

Embracing the Spirit of my home and family in all our chaotic, messy, loud splendor!

Shifting the energy of our home, cleaning up corners and forgotten spaces as we begin to spend more of our time indoors during these cold months. And Transitioning our home from Autumn to Winter, putting away the leaves and gourds, glittering the pinecones and Christmas crafting.

Giggling as my 4 year old wakes me every morning, pleading to open a new door on our Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar.

Connecting within, as so much energy is expended out during this month, and remembering to enjoy the pauses.

Creating holiday class ideas, snowflakes and poses…no two are alike.

Smiling as I discover my 1 year old’s love for music and movement, evidenced by his enthusiasm and grace during our music classes.

Missing family and friends back east, and Sending healing energy and blessings.

Holding hugs longer.

Dusting off my “big girl” boots in anticipation of a busy social month for this gal!

Channeling Star Wars Jedi use of The Force as I prepare class ideas for my spirited yogis.

Chanting All Is As It Should Be.

Namaste.

Season of Gratitude

Wow! I feel so  blessed to do what I love, and to share it with so many wonderful children. This season is by far my favorite…a time of Gathering, Family, Warmth, and Gratitude. Teaching gratitude to children fills me with so much hope for our future. This season my classes focus on heart opening, expansion, saying YES to life’s blessings.

With all this saying YES, and a full teaching and mama schedule, I’ve had little time to update and design this website. Thank you for your patience. With winter break upon us, soon it will be a home for Yogi Playground’s photos, resources, class ideas, and class experiences.

In the meantime to the Universe I say, “Thank you. More please.”

Happy Holidays to you and your families. May you be full of Grace, Wisdom, Passion, and Love.

Namaste,

YogiBeth