All Things Yoga · Card Reading · San Diego · Teacher Tuesday · Teen Yoga · Upcycle

#TeenYoga and the Positive Affects of Moving Meditation- Teacher Tuesday

I love teaching teen yoga! Some days, we practice asana. Some days, we practice meditation and breathing. And some days, we color!

I have ample coloring books at home, and took the time to photocopy the pages that had powerful words of affirmation. Faith, love, and smiles accompanied the coloring pages and pencils that I brought for 90+ teen girls to play with!After a few rounds of breath, intention setting, and card pulling, we had an hour to color. Students were able to decorate the halls with their mandalas, or take them home to gift to loved ones.

Strips of colored (and recycled) construction paper were provided to write letters of gratitude and leave them on windshields, lockers, and purses of loved ones. No one regrets a handwritten note attached to an act of kindness. Moving meditation is powerful. Coloring and connecting with OMies is a great way to team-build, as well as practicing Saucha etiquette of cleanliness and shared tools/space.

I loved coloring with the teens, as well as pulling cards from Thich Nhat Hanh’s EVERYDAY PEACE CARDS. I found this deck at a funky bookstore in Oakland, CA. May you find bliss in the ritual, share it with others, and take time to reflect on why it really matters. This is a great itinerary for a group of 12-18 year olds, lasting us about 65-70 minutes of play. 

All Things Yoga · Aparigraha · Namaste · Saucha · Teacher Tuesday · Teen Yoga · Uncategorized · Upcycle

Saucha Stewardess Duties – #TeacherTuesdays

Cleanliness is a no brainer when it comes to YOGA!

I am hoping to bridge the gap, connect the disconnect, of life-grooming etiquette that comes with starting a yoga practice. SAUCHA, which is a Sanskrit word and pillar in the foundations of yoga, refers to cleanliness. There are infinite ways to express cleanliness with the body, mind and spirit. While studio classes can lightly dip toes in the concept, I really wanted to dive in for my teen yogis. Cleanliness changed my life! It now brings me such joy.

When teaching at a high school, it was imperative for me to implement the discipline of SAUCHA. Not only does cleanliness align with any and all school principles and values, but it also instills respect. Prior to creating the ZEN DEN, pictured in the photos above, there was a physical disrespect present with their yoga tools. Mats danced with basketballs, volleyball nets, garbage, lost and found items, theater props, HIIT equipment- think, storage closet chaos.

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE.

Yoga mats and props must be treated with respect, just like you treat the pillow that you rest your head on for a good night’s sleep. I found that it was easy to hold my students accountable to cleanliness for 2 solid reasons:

  1. I instilled SAUCHA STEWARD/ESS into their grade. They received participation points for maintaining the tidiness of the prop area, as well as group participation points for creating YOGA MAT SPRAY, cleaning their mats, and practicing moving meditation. I taught a class on how to use essential oils to clean everything, and at the end of teach week, we clean our mats with tea tree oil and water! We use recycled cleaning spray bottles, decorated with fun Yoga images 🙂
  2.  Cleanliness genuinely brings joy. With only a few weeks of upkeep, the Den can maintain a true level of ZEN. Discipline breeds freedom, and the calming affect of having a clean space is undeniable. When the room is disrespected, it sticks out right away. Most students find motivation in keeping the den clean after practicing cleanliness regularly.

I chose to decorate the ZEN DEN with their coloring pages! Students practiced moving meditation with mandala coloring. Letters of gratitude, and the definition of SAUCHA, are also provided and taped onto the walls.

You know I wanted to stick a Free Little Library in there! 🙂

I loved implementing SAUCHA into the classroom because I was never taught cleanliness in an academic setting.

I had one foundational math teacher in my Catholic high-schooling who was a stickler for handwriting, written formula steps, and cleanliness of our homework assignments. While I loathed her at 17, I adore her at 29, and so I hope to truly empower the meaning of NAMASTE and pass forward the act of cleanliness by example. This takes unique forms, and I love the challenge of applying SAUCHA to all subjects!

UPCYCLE TIP- these bins are all old packing bins I have acquired over the years. I had been meaning to reorganize 6-7 bins that we have stored, and this prompted me to DETACH, clean, organize, and SAUCHA myself. Ah, the student-teacher relationship. Some of these old bins said ‘XMAS’ decorations from my parent’s old shed! I decorated and covered the fronts with what I have and donated them to the cause. PRO TIP- adhere with GLUE GUN instead of tape.

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And truly, it’s not that hard to stack your yoga mats in lovely unison! WHAT A PRIVILEGE IT IS TO HAVE YOGA IN SCHOOL, to have individual mats you do not have to share, and to have safe place to store them without needing to lug it to and fro. You have it lucky, my loves! 🙂

 

All Things Yoga · My Business Tools · Teacher Tuesday · Teen Yoga · The 5 Koshas

Teen Yoga and the Manomaya Kosha – Teacher Tuesdays

Hello OMies! Welcome to another week of Teacher Tuesdays, where I share some of the tools that I use as a Yoga Teacher here in the San Diego area, as well as the teachings that I am working on as an avid student of LIFE! I love writing curriculum and creating activities for team building and mind-body connection.

Today, I wanted to share this week’s Yogic Theme for my teen/high school level yogis.

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You will need:

-Yoga Mat or Towel/Carpet

-Writing Medium (the medium is the message! Choose a pen, pencil, or writing device that brings you JOY)

-CONVERSATION CARDS: Start collecting Yoga Articles. Rather than printing them out, please repurpose or compile a hyperlink list of suggested articles! Ideas for what I used: 2-3 copies of Yoga Journal Magazine, mindfulness and meditation articles from school, newspaper and mail, essential oil catalogues, Yoga Teacher Training Materials (if you have completed a 200, 300 hour training, breathe some life back into those dusty binders that your teachers worked so hard to create)

-Laminator (optional, but also the greatest investment I have ever made. Here is the exact one that I bought. This way, you can use your materials for multiple seasons, semesters, and years without worrying about sweaty yogi paws!)

-Printer (if you would like hard copies of the Manomaya Kosha worksheet, otherwise, go green and upload to your school/training portal). You can read about my sacred and trusty printer that I have had for 49 months NOW here!!

-Empty wall

THEME: The Manomaya (Third Kosha) – finding balance and positivity in emotions, mind, senses and mind-body connection

TIME NEEDED: 60-80 Minutes

AGE: About 14 y/o+, appropriate for pre-teen, teen and adult

Begin class: 5 MINUTES- Grounding, Explaining the Manomaya Kosha (prior knowledge of the first two koshas is ideal. For information on the first (annamaya) kosha and second (pranamaya) kosha, click for some of my favorite references. Optional- pass out this worksheet that I created. for further explanation and for your students to reference outside of class.

ASANA: 20 MINUTES. General warm-up with familiar poses. I try not to introduce new poses when also introducing new concepts. However, you can reinvent a pose infinite ways and will learn so much from your OMies! Today, we re-visited chair pose, Sun Salutation A, Standing Crescent, and Gate Pose

WALL: 15 minutes. Walk yogis over to a blank wall with no disturbances and protuberances. First, practice ‘WALL SITS’ and the proper, ergonomic way to use a wall as back support. Using flat feet, happy unclenched toes, and heels fully rooted to the ground. This is a great opportunity to find pelvic floor awareness, as the wall helps students ‘suction cup’ their back to the wall and feel the benefits of a long spine. The physical body, your annamaya kosha, is going to be alerting everyone to stand up! The body will bark and yell at the mind to stand up and find relief, but the mind, the manomaya kosha, has chosen to wall-sit for 60 seconds. Continue with additional wall poses: downward dog with hands on the wall, crossed-leg (eagle) wall sits, tippy-toe wall sits, and even standing savasana with a gentle lean on the wall!

RETURN TO MAT: 15 MINUTES. Cool down for Savasana prep. Continue further chats about awareness, the importance of stretching after wall-sits. (My class and I took Seated twists, boat pose, shoulder stand, happy baby and forward fold)

SILENT SAVASANA- 5 MINUTES. No distractions with music, we embraced the sounds that surround us and noticed the mind and body connection. (example- there was a jack-hammer in the distance and some of the students felt the noise and vibration with twitching toes, alert and open eyes, and tightness in their hands. Peaceful bird noises, doors opening and closing, coughing and sneezing- how does the body respond? Can you tune out and tap in?)

CONVERSATION CARDS- 20 MINUTES. After closing class and our sacred circle with NAMASTE. the students awaken to the sight of CONVERSATION CARD MANDALA. Working in groups or solo, YOGI’s CHOICE, browse the circle and select the card that glimmers in your eye! Read the front and back on the article , and discuss your musings and learnings with yourself or your yogi neighbor. Get the mind working! Activate the senses, have conversation, and see if the initial article activates any other thoughts or ideas.

OMwork is up to you. These students were asked to create a discussion board post and write some of their CONVERSATION CARD musings for the class to read and share. (3-5 sentences) However, you can also have them submit handwritten assignments for moving meditation, have the teens volunteer to share what their group discussed to the class, or pick 1 single conversation card to do with your group of >4.

Enjoy activating your MANOMAYA KOSHA and exploring asana with your OMies! If you would like a copy of this worksheet or additional information about my resources used, I am only an email away: cordercollective@yahoo.com.

NAMASTE ❤

All Things Yoga · Healing Modalities · Teen Yoga

Aromatherapy with Teens- Well Read Wednesday

On today’s Well Read Wednesday, I am very excited to share the sacred texts that I have been collecting over the years! In 2016, I jumped head first into aromatherapy. Josh and I were living minimalist, primitive and on the road. We started making our own laundry soap. From there, we made shampoo and conditioner, bug spray, and surface spray cleaners. Our biggest goal was to save money, make everything ourselves, and heal dandruff. We did all 3! After completing my yoga teacher training in 2017, I came upon a lot of fun resources from OMies near and far. If you know me, you know I love books . It is so rewarding to find your like-minded cOMmunity and reap the bounty of not 2 not 3, but 9 books on aromatherapy to bring to high school.Start with safety! Not all oils are meant to be used topically or ingested. This is a smell-only exercise. Respect the bottles with care and keep lid screwed tightly at all times; truly, metaphors for life blossom from simple etiquette!Teens love aromatherapy! Their reflections on smells and how they connect with them are intuitive and often hysterical. Students were asked to pick a book from the aromatherapy mandala and find a plant or oil that would alleviate balance in the pranamaya kosha. (Think: sleep aid, stress reducers, organ support and function, and vitality levels)

They were also invited to share any general musings or discoveries during their smell journey. I loved reading of memory association; many teens experienced memory recall upon smelling patchouli and clove, for example.

These books enjoyed having life and young fingers fluttering through them.