At Divine Light Yoga, we believe that Karma Yoga is an essential element of a yogi’s practice, no matter what the age of the yogi. We are committed to supporting and guiding both adults and children through their individual Karma Yoga Journey.
The Karma Yoga Project has been designed to raise awareness and funds for the Thai Child Development Foundation(TCDF), a wonderful charity that supports healthcare, nutrition, education and welfare for disadvantaged children and their families in Southern Thailand.
On 28th August, our students, teachers and trainees will be hosting Children’s Yoga Events around the world, in order to raise money for TCDF. If you would like to get involved, you can organise a donation-based event in your local community. You don’t need to be a qualified children’s yoga teacher to join this event, just an open-heart and an eagerness to share karma yoga with children, teens and adults within your community.
Here are some creative ideas you can incorporate into your Karma Yoga Project Event.
(You can also do a Strawberry Meditation for a slightly healthier version)
This is one of my favourite mindfulness techniques! Its a fun and easy activity suitable for children (and adults) of all ages! It encourages children to eat with more awareness of their senses and bodily changes as well as encouraging appreciation for their food.
Present the children with a square of chocolate (or a strawberry) and without touching it, observe its shape, size, colour. Encourage children to use their senses by asking questions such as, “How does it smell?” “What does it look like” as well as questions to draw attention to their body; “What sensation do you feel in your mouth when you look at the food?” “Can you notice any feelings in your stomach as you smell the food?”
Pick up the food slowly and observe it in your fingers. If you’re using chocolate during your meditation, this is where it can start to get messy as it melts in your fingers! Encourage the children to observe the feeling as they hold it in their hand; notice the temperature and texture.
Slowly place the food on your tongue, without biting into it, just notice the sensations on your tongue and what you can feel inside your body. Take a few moments before you bite into it, to notice what you can taste. As you start to chew, notice if the taste and texture change. Follow the path of the food as you swallow, moving your awareness from your mouth, to your throat and stomach. Bring your attention back to your mouth and enjoy the yummy sweet after-taste.
The children can follow up this mindfulness activity with reflection by sharing, journaling or drawing about their experiences.
Ecstatic Dance & Movement
At Divine Light Yoga, we recognise any form of creative expression and freedom as yoga. Dance and free-movement allows both children and adults, the opportunity to connect with their bodies, breath and emotions whilst being in a meditative state as they completely let go of any thoughts or judgements. Many of us are familiar with the highly therapeutic effects of free-dance, so share this with the children and adults of your community. Put on some of your favourite tunes and get moving! You can use props including scarves, cheerleading pom-poms or hula hoops. One of my favourite activities to warm up, get creative and lose all inhibitions, is to start with a blindfolded dance.
Encourage children to connect to their creative side by hosting an Art Meditation. Firstly, start by centering the children, allow them to close their eyes and focus inwards on their body and breath. You can play some calming music or chiming bells to encourage the children to focus or for older children, lead them through a short visualisation. Once the children feel settled, give them the time, permission and art materials to go wild with their imagination and creativity. Encourage children to be quiet, calm and focused during their art meditation, reminding them that the most important element of the meditation is the process, not a perfect piece of art. Allow time at the end for a sharing circle so that children can share their experience with the rest of the group.
Those are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing. Please keep us updated on your Karma Yoga Event by posting photos and event ideas on our Facebook Page.
Please send all donations (marked as The Karma Yoga Project) to the Thai Child Development Foundation via http://thaichilddevelopment.jimdo.com/donate-1/