Month: November 2011

The Joy of Giving

ImageThis Thanksgiving, Liam, a brand new yogi, received Asana Alphabet’s yoga book, “Yogi and Yogette Learn the Asana Alphabet”.  With a yoga pose for every letter of the alphabet, it helps kids reinforce the alphabet through yoga and movement.  As many of us already know, young children learn best through movement so this book canbe especially inspiring as it encourages you to try out the poses yourself. Since English is Liam’s second language, that’s just another bonus as he sounds out the letters of the alphabet.  His favorite pose in the book? TREE POSE!  Apparently was so excited about the book that he had to transfer his love along to his sister afterwards (see below).

“How can I give one of these?”  you ask…go to our shopping tag at www.AsanaAlphabet.com or sometimes you can find them at Amazon.com (title: Yogi and Yogette Learn the Asana Alphabet).  Order by Dec. 14th for holiday deliveries.  50% of all sales on our website go to providing more FREE classes for our kindergarten students on the lower east side.

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Thanksgiving Yoga Thoughts for Kids

This week, my elementary school yoga class had a Thanksgiving yoga party (imaginary food mind you, it was a yoga class) where we made apple pie with kurmasana and set the yoga table (table pose) with fancy chairs (chair pose).  We also invited our yoga animal friends like the cat, cow, cobra and downward dog.  The kids kept saying, “We forgot the turkey! We forgot the turkey!”  At first, I just ignored their shouts but as it wouldn’t stop I had to think of something.  I didn’t want to serve turkey at our yoga thanksgiving (yoga philosophy is in favor of going veg) so I asked them, “Why do you think we aren’t having turkey at this Thanksgiving?”  After about 5 seconds of thought, they all said that we’ve invited animals to the party so we shouldn’t serve another animal because that might scare them (no, I did not give them any hints!)  Is your heart a bit more open now?

A weight-loss show, Biggest Loser, is currently playing on the TV….the host just mentioned that Americans eat approximately 4500 calories at Thanksgiving with about 200 grams of fat.  Let’s watch what we feed (and how much we feed) our children, even if it is a special occasion.

I rounded out class with some abdominal exercises to help us feel better after eating so much and finished with a yoga dance party.  Hope this inspires some of you to be creative in your teachings.

Ann and Santokh Rinpoche

One piece of teaching is that the teacher can always learn from their students and I find this to be true.  So I thought I’d honor some recent teachers of mine today.

Training others to teach children’s yoga has been such a great joy knowing that the teaching will be passed on to so many kids.  Selfishly, I always love connecting with these trainees and many of them are as experienced as myself and creating their own unique paths in the world of kids yoga.  This past fall in Princeton, I had the pleasure of working with Santokh Rinpoche of Happy Vibe Yoga who beautifully incorporates many styles of yoga into her classes and encourages her adult students to find their playful and child-like selves.  A fellow choreographer too, it was nice to see a parallel life being had near Doylestown, PA.

Karen La Du, http://www.khladu.com/, has a beautiful way of combining art, creativity and yoga for her students and is working on baking the yoga way as well.

I was also inspired by Ms. Kamen, A Spanish teacher at Princeton Day School (where I also teach) who clearly sees that her middle school students could really open up.  Her methods of incorporating Spanish language, storytelling and yoga are fun and engaging.  Ms. Griffin, who is a pre-k teacher also at PDS, demonstrates a true understanding of her students needs and how they learn through movement and April, also a Prek teacher, readily sees how classroom dynamics can be improved simply by adding in some quick yoga games to keep children’s attention.

With Gratitude! Ann

 

 

Quote for post 11/11/11 Teachers

Everyone is born a saint, innocent.  

Be innocent and be humble.

Flow. 

Share with others.  

Share your information but do not push.  Every individual has to grow. Live most relaxed and feel a FUN about everything.

-Yogi Bhajan, March 21, 1974

Teaching philosophy for yoga teachers: Meet your students where they are at.  Have a good time and they will too.