Community, collaboration and kindness are certainly some of the ingredients that can help to create balance and harmony anywhere in the world.
I chose to make ‘Acts of Kindness’ a theme for our class recently and we began in circle sharing how we could show kindness to others. One student shared how she likes to include others when she plays a game and another how she thinks taking time to listen is showing kindness to. As always treasured times of sharing where we learn together the precious language of our hearts.
Artistic collaboration is always deeply enriching and I decided we would form our own unique ‘Aussiedala’ with love and peace at the centre. Sitting with a group of children some of who were originally from other corners of the globe but now call here home we share a common connection.
I found a map of Australia in an art store recently which gave me the idea for this activity and to appreciate this amazing land. I asked the students to colour and decorate in a way that made them feel happy and reflected how we felt about our home. In the centre I drew a peace symbol and place the universal symbol of love the heart around it.
Why not think about creating love, joy, happiness, harmony and peace with a mandala of where your home is?
What you need and how to do it
This is a great opportunity to teach students another interpretation of ‘Union’ and share the true essence of Yoga.
The character of a monkey is playful and cheeky, and they love to move and swing from branch to branch. We teach our students about the ‘monkey mind’ at times, and we call it this because the mind is like a monkey - busy jumping from thought to thought.
A fun activity that can help to occupy and calm the monkey mind is a ‘double doodling’ exercise. The benefits of this are not only the sheer enjoyment and concentration, but this exercises both sides of the brain as it uses the non dominant hand.
How to do it
We all get a bit grumpy from time to time let’s be honest.
So when our children are feeling angry or upset it is healthy to be able to recognise these emotions, whilst also learning that we can actually diffuse them by becoming aware of them and trying different tools.
A glitter calming jar can do just that. It is both a visual and interactive tool for children to use. You may want to get a plastic jar to make the recipe, then shake it up and offer it to your child to focus their attention on the glitter as it slowly makes it way to settle on the bottom of the jar. I find it's both soothing and calming to my mood too!
What you need and how to do it
The start of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on last year and set clear intentions for the coming year. One intention I always finish my classes with is to wish all beings on our planet - Peace.
I teach my students that peace begins on the inside, and that when we find that feeling we can share it with everyone around us.
When you visit temples in different cultures you can often see colourful flags attached to different parts of the structure that are infused with prayers that are being gently blown out into the world by the wind – with the intention of creating a ripple of peace.
I love the decorative nature of these flags and thought it would be lovely to let children create their own unique version of these too with simple materials.
In the process of creation we are accessing that part of ourselves that inspires a sense of peace and calm at the same time – how perfect!
What you need and how to do it:
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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