We all know that yoga and meditation are good for us. Then why it is so hard to stay dedicated and focused? How many times do you catch yourself thinking about groceries, the latest gossip in the workplace or an old friend that you haven’t seen for years, just right after going into Savasana? Children’s minds are as monkey-like as their bodies. Some adults are not far from that either… So how do you deal with the monkey in your own class?
Well, the answer from our lovely teacher is - charms and spells! To lead children's meditation, you need heaps of imagination. Use colors, sounds, scents, rainbows, flowers and time machines (not all together, thankfully!) Make them see it, make them feel it, make them do it. And repeat, repeat, repeat. We all need a good routine to adjust and learn.
As everybody learns in different way (in all of the madness of the world of teaching children, Laura didn’t let us forget about the educational philosophy mentioned at the beginning of the training) incorporating nature, music and art is essential to entertain and keep the attention of little yogis.
Bringing nature into the class helps to reconnect children with the natural environment. Music, dance, art or journaling not only keep children entertained, but also teaches them how to express themselves. Therefore, we spent a whole afternoon playing with glass bottles, stones and coconuts, dancing wild monkey dances and singing like crazy. Next to the songs explaining accessibly the meaning of such Sanskrit words like “Namaste” and yoga philosophy, we went through all those kid’s songs that little polish girl like me, heard only from American movies. Row the Boat… Incy Wincy Spider… Old McDonald’s Farm… Little Star that Twinkles… and so on, and so forth, lalala… Ahooooo! I have never sung so much in my whole life! I found out, that you can sing about anything. That you can make up a song for wiggling your toes and there you go, everybody (not only under 5) starts to wiggle their toes! After that session, I almost started to believe I can sing. Be aware!