August 26, 2010
Today is Yogi Bhajan‘s birthday, so we would like to honor him in this post, the incredible yoga teacher who brought Kundalini Yoga to the west. Though most Kundalini Yoga classes these days are for adults, there are some techniques that are beneficial for kids too! Many of the beautiful songs and mantras (repetitive sound) used in Kundalini Yoga work well in a children’s yoga class. Here are some of our favorites:
The Long Time Sunshine Song
Long Sat Nams (which can be found at the end of many versions of the Long Time Sunshine Song)
Sa Ta Na Ma
Back in NYC and school starts in one week! Before that, here are some reflections on our work in Ethiopia. Ann, our director, volunteered as an Arts Ranger for the WWO Academy in Addis Ababa. Though the position was essentially dance-based, when the counselors found out that Ann knew yoga, “rest period” turned into beginning yoga classes for the activity directors and hopefully some of this knowledge will find its way into their school year.
While in Addis, I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Jane Aronson, the founder of WorldWide Orphans. Here’s what she said about her final visit to Camp Addis this summer.
Dr. Jane Aronson Ethiopia Journal #7
Last Day at Camp Addis, Friday, Jul 30
The final day of camp for the Service Ranger families was truly fabulous. The colorful lunch area/ performance center was filled with counselors and campers and each group performed their respective skits. The skits were all in Amharic and we understood a lot of the action because the gestures, dancing, and singing were universal. My sons were in a skit where they teach the Ethiopians about their dancing style in the US. Ben and Des danced well without any shyness….like they dance at home. Another skit with Jed and Caleb where they had pigtails in their hair and funny furry hats was again about Americans and Ethiopians meeting and trying to understand one another…very funny and cute.
Each camper group came up to perform and dance typical Ethiopian dance routines almost identical to the ones seen at some local restaurants. It is clear that dance and music play a central role in the education of children in Ethiopia, and I was proud that both the camp and academy are focused on global arts.
More on WWO in Ethiopia here.
Asana Alphabet™’s founder, Ann Robideaux,traveled to Philadelphia this summer to work with the 65 teens selected for the Philadelphia Youth Network Service “Leaders of Change” program. The program aims to empower Philadelphia teens to not only to develop themselves, but to consider their place in the community and create positive social change through their work during the summer. All of the selected teens are paid for working in this program, which is an extra plus considering some of the other usual teen job options. Ideally, yoga is a way to deepen our connection to the world around us and allow us to become more conscious of our actions. Our yoga day included doing yoga as partners (see the double boat partner photo) and as a group (see the group tree) to facilitate community and connection along with deep relaxation for clearer thinking and to de-stress.