by Lauren Chaitoff
Incorporating holiday themes into kids’ yoga classes is a fantastic way to expand on the meaning of any holiday, and may present the opportunity to incorporate some basic yoga philosophy into your classes. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, try integrating the theme of Loving-Kindness into your kids’ yoga classes.
As adults, we typically think of Valentine’s Day as celebrating romantic love. However, in your kids’ yoga classes, I encourage you to speak about Valentine’s Day as celebrating love for yourself, love for people that you love, love for people you don’t know, and even love for those people that can sometimes get under your skin.
One of my favorite meditations to share with kids at Yogi Beans is the traditional Buddhist meditation of Loving-Kindness. I’ve “beanified” it so you can share it in your classes in a way that kids will understand and appreciate. Below is a script that you can follow, or perhaps it will inspire you to create your own version of a Loving-Kindness meditation to share. Additionally, I’ve included a link to a heart mandala that you can print and hand out to the Beans in your class. Invite them to color the mandala and then give it to someone they love. Not only is this a sweet act, it also teaches kids the art of giving and non-attachment.
Loving-Kindness Meditation for Kids
Begin by saying and sending yourself the following Loving-Kindness meditation: May I Be Happy. May I Be Healthy.
Repeat this to yourself several times until you can really feel it inside your heart.
Now, think about someone you love and vividly picture this person in your mind. As you see this person in your mind, send them the Loving-Kindness meditation: May You Be Happy. May You Be Healthy.
Next, think about a person you do not know too well, yet see often. Perhaps it is a bus driver, a janitor at school, or a school crossing guard. Think about this person and send them the Loving-Kindness meditation: May You Be Happy. May You Be Healthy.
Now think about someone who mildly disturbs you . . . someone who can get on your nerves. Think about a time when you and this person were happy together and send this person the Loving-Kindness meditation: May You Be Happy. May You Be Healthy.
Finally, take this Loving-Kindness meditation and make it even bigger by sending it out to the entire state (the state you are teaching in): May We All Be Happy. May We All Be Healthy.
Send it out to the entire country! May We All Be Happy. May We All Be Healthy.
Send it out to the entire world! May We All Be Happy. May We All Be Healthy.
Send it out to the vast universe! May We All Be Happy. May We All Be Healthy.
Wishing you and the Beans in your life a Happy Valentines day. May you spread Love and Kindness to everyone you meet!
To download the Heart Mandala PDF file right-click here.
Yogi Beans is the brainchild of mind-body-fitness expert Lauren Chaitoff. In 2005, after training in theater and working in Los Angeles as an actor, Lauren decided to shift her career towards positively impacting children’s lives through fitness and wellness. In 2007, Lauren created Yogi Beans, a company devoted solely to teaching yoga to children of all ages in and around New York City. In 2010, she fortuitously met Alexa Klein, Yogi Beans’ CEO & Co-Owner, and the two united to open Yogi Beans Kids Yoga Studio in NYC. Lauren currently oversees and trains the stellar Yogi Beans Instructor team, leads regular Yogi Beans’ public teacher trainings, and teaches weekly classes to beans of all ages. Lauren continuously evolves Yogi Beans’ programming from her extensive experiences in the classroom, on her mat and through her love and nurturing of her own baby bean, Vivienne Bell. Find Yogi Beans on facebook and twitter @YogiBeans.
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