As you may know by now we love to combine both creativity and Yoga. We are passionate about cultivating a place of quiet reflection to be with ourselves. To take a moment out from the busyness that can be life. We continually witness the impact of practicing deep relaxation in our students and how this transfers so peacefully into creative expression to become mindfulness in action.
It has always been a dream of ours to create a series of accessible educational resources that would be available as a tool for parents and educators, to share with either their children or students. This began with our Creative Yogis colouring book that was created 3 years ago.
We have spent many years offering Mandala colouring pages to our students which have always been met with great enthusiasm. 'Mandalas' are a repetitive design within a circle or forming a circle and have been used by many cultures as a tool for meditation, therapy and as a way to simply unwind and de-stress.
Two years ago we had an idea to combine the shape of Yoga poses in each design so you could relax and enjoy your creative expression and when you felt like a break jump up and do the pose!
It is so very exciting as we have finally brought that idea to fruition and would like to introduce our latest offering ‘Yogadalas’ - 13 unique designs that each centre around a particular pose and combine to create a Yoga sequence just for you. We hope you enjoy colouring them as much as we did creating them for you and are keen to see your response!
We believe that Art itself is a form of mindfulness in action.
Whether it be drawing, painting, or even collage, engaging in art transports us to a place of quiet reflection, personal expression and allows us to be present in the moment to what is happening.
We had fun last term in our YogArt classes making our 3D Mandala mobiles. It is a simple fun activity that you may like to connect and share with your own child or offer to your students.
Paper plates / glue/ scissors / magazines or coloured paper / string / hole punch.
This week we introduced Mindfulness in our blog and here is a quick reminder of why we are using this wonderful tool.
The benefit of practicing mindfulness is we can learn to pause, take a breath and get in touch with what is needed in the moment.
Children can develop these skills too, helping them to have greater acceptance, and learn to respond rather than react in life.
Here is another simple practice that we have been using in many of our classes ‘Mindfulness of Sound’. It is such a great way to articulate the skill of listening by using the sense of hearing – why not have a go with your child or students!
Mindfulness of Sound
To begin we sit with a tall spine and relaxed shoulders in a comfortable seat. We begin by showing the students the bells we will use to create the sound.
You can use any type of bell for chimes, even a sound bowl or gong, as long as the sound is easy for the children to hear and not too loud.
We explain clearly that the bells will be rung and that when the sound has completely finished and they can no longer hear it then they are to raise their right hand into the air.
You can repeat the same thing and ask them to raise their left hand in the air – and then you can even remain sitting in the quietness that remains.
It is lots of fun, students enjoy the challenge and definitely improve with practice!
Mindfulness is cultivating the ability to have present moment awareness. In simple terms this means an openness and friendly willingness to understand what is going on around and inside of you.
Life is busy even for kids now days, and they are finding it increasingly difficult to focus and concentrate. Stress is also on the increase in our children.
The benefit of practicing mindfulness for a child is he/she can learn to pause for a moment, take a breath and get in touch with what they may need/feel in that moment.
Mindfulness helps children develop the skills to accept not all things in life are great, or go their way. They learn to respond rather than react, thereby gaining tools to help them navigate their own special inner world, and the world around them.
Karen Wightman is the founder of Creative Yogis. She is an experienced, local and international children’s yoga instructor, yoga teacher trainer, and children’s art teacher.
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