This week in mindfulness we got our bodies moving with some yoga and dancing! We started mindfulness by ringing the bell, and then I talked a little about how we were going to use our whole bodies to tell a story… with yoga! Our yoga story began with climbing a mountain. Once on the mountain we pitched our tent, and then began our hike. On the way we saw trees, a hawk, mountain lion, fox, a lizard that wiggled off into a cave, bats, and a turtle! For every animal along the way we did a different pose. Mountain lion was some cat and cow poses, and fox was a downward dog pose, and the cave was a bridge pose just to name a few. We made sure to breath into each of the poses. After our hike, a turtle crawled into our tent to tell us a story. The turtle, whose name is Tuck (some of your children have met Tuck before!) told us a story about a friend in his classroom who smashed the puzzles that he had been working so hard on. Tuck was so mad that he couldn’t even think straight. Luckily his teacher showed him how to do turtle time. Turtle time is where you tuck into your “shell” and take at least three big breaths to help you calm down. Many of the kids during our lesson today reminded me that even though they don’t have a real shell, they can still tuck to take some time – and breaths. We practiced by dancing, but every time I said “turtle time” we stopped, tucked, and took three big breaths! Turtle time can also be helpful for calming down the sillies, or taking some space when we are feeling sad. The beauty of turtle time is that you can do it almost anywhere! We talked about telling a parent or teacher first that you need turtle time so they know, and can even help you find a space to take some turtle time. We ended our lesson by taking three big breaths with tuck the turtle and the bell.
Mindfulness at home!
Even if you are not a seasoned yogi, you can still practice by using your body to mimic animals or other things in nature. If you ask your kids to make a cave or a snake with their bodies you might be surprised what they do. Yoga can be adaptive and unique to every individual. If you would like to try and follow some more traditional poses there are some great yoga flash cards and books that are geared towards kids, and fun for adults too! Yoga Pretzals – yoga flash cards, Peaceful Piggy Yoga – book, Yoga for Kids – book are a few to keep a lookout for.
Turtle time is an easy one to practice. Start by doing something fun, but also gets your heart beating. You can think of your own cues whether it’s saying “turtle time” or making some noise to indicate to stop, tuck, and take some breaths. If you are adventurous try initiating turtle time at the park, or even your favorite restaurant (especially when things start to get a little silly) Be creative with your child and talk about scenarios where turtle time would be helpful for you and them!