Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
With the fast pace of the American Culture, more times then intended, our nutritional intake takes a hit. We rush around from activity to activity, errand to errand forgetting to slow down and truly take care of ourselves and our nutritional needs. I may go as far as saying we are the generation of "Grab and Go". Too many times we grab what we can and then eat on the run. When I asked the Alluem Kids how often they take time sit around the table and eat dinner together, the consensus was they do more eating on the go. My challenge to the kids was to bring back mindful eating. Take time with your food.
Handing an orange to each child...they held it with both hands, simply being grateful for having that orange. We recognized that there are people in the world without food and that we are lucky to have such an abundance in our lives. We then thought about where that orange came from...how it grew...who picked the fruit...cleaned it...brought it to the supermarket for us to buy. We recognized that a lot goes into getting food from the land it came from to our very hands. Then we smelt the orange - taking deeply breaths in and out. Rolling it between our palms intensifying the scent, we took the time to actually enjoy the yummy citrus scent. We looked closely it each of our oranges, noticing the color, feeling the texture. Oranges are one of the fruits that take some time and effort to get to. Taking the time to peel the orange, feeling the texture of the rind. As the orange becomes exposed, we noticed all the complexities of it - the sections it is conveniently divided into for us to easily peel apart, the tiny seeds and juice compartments that make up this yummy fruit. Yes, we picked apart every detail of this orange which got us to our ultimate goal of staying in the present while we take part in the act of eating. Eating the oranges the kids were able to truly engage all their senses while appreciating every bit of their food - a great experience for everyone!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Alluem Kids Camp began with 30 feet of white paper. Rolled out across the studio floor, the kids paired up and took turns tracing the outline of themselves in savasana - the most relaxing pose in yoga. As the kids sat side by side with their paper selves, we began to discuss the chakras, the focus of camp this summer. Our bodies are filled with energy. There are 7 specific energy containers in our bodies called chakras that are located from the base of the spine, all the way up to the top of our heads. When we are full of energy and life and in touch with ourselves and our emotions, it means our chakras are very open. When we are lacking energy, tired, lethargic, our chakras may be blocked. Each chakra has a special purpose and color. On our paper selves we would identify the name, the placement, the meaning, and surround it with written or drawn examples. Following each chakra we would work on yoga poses that open these chakras, along with games and activities to correlate.
The 1st chakra, the Root Chakra, is located at the base of the spine and represented by the color red. It gives us the feeling of being grounded or rooted like a tree. When this chakra is open, you feel happy, secure, and confident. Bringing attention to our feet and waking them up, we lacing fingers between toes, rolled tennis balls under our feet, and played a little game of Toe-Ga! Mountain Pose, Chair Pose, and Tree Pose completed our grounded practice for the Root Chakra.
What are the things in your life that help you to feel happy, confident, and secure?
The 2nd chakra the, Sacral Chakra, is located near the belly button and through the hip region. This chakra keeps us in touch with our emotions and reminds us to chill out and go with the flow. Our imagination and our creativity are also sourced from this chakra. When we are relaxed and going with the flow, we can think clearer, we feel freer to imagine all the great things we can be, create great works of art or write great stories. Focus on the hips with Pigeon Pose, Cow Face, and of course some restorative poses like Reclined Bound Angle.
What creative activities do you take part in?
The 3rd chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, is located in the stomach area. This chakra is where our energy comes from. This was a perfect chance to practice some Laughter Yoga. It starts with a giggle while lying on our backs in a circle, feet touching. Before your know it, full fledge laughter filled the studio! Laughing so hard our stomachs started to hurt! It's a wonderful thing to watch! Bringing focus to the core muscles, by holding Boat Pose or moving through a Sun Salutation, helps strengthen the core and develope more energy.
What ways do we bring energy into our lives?
The 4th chakra, the Heart Chakra, is located in the center of the chest. This chakra is where we find peace and love. Opening the heart with Backbends, Camel, or relaxing back over a bolster under the shoulder blades, allows us to invite love and peace into our lives and reminds us to stay open to all things familiar and different in our lives.
What or who do you love? What brings you peace?
The 5th chakra, the Throat Chakra, is located in the center of our necks. This chakra allows us to communicate with others in our lives. It gives us the ability to be heard and the strength to speak out. Candlestick, Plow Pose, and Fish Pose all stimulate this chakra.
What ways do you communicate with others? What do you have to share with the world through your voice?
The 6th chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, is in the space between our eyes. This is your inner eye. Your two eyes see the material world. The inner eye sees the things that truly matter. It is your conscious. This conscious has a lot to do with our dreams, our imagination, and our ability to visualize.
What dreams do you have? What could you be or do if you could do anything?
The 7th and final chakra, the Crown Chakra, is located right above your head. This chakra is all about meditation and thought, or clearing our minds from unnecessary thought. Just as a shower cleans the grime off of the day, meditation cleans our minds from thoughts and worries that we don't need. It's good to start everyday with a fresh mind and stay in the present moment. Mudras, Candle Meditation, Mala Beads, Walking Meditation...there are so many ways to tune into ourselves and focus on what is truly important.
What ways to you clear your mind and listen to your heart?
By the end of camp, our paper selves were full of ways to recognize ourselves as a whole...a whole beautiful human being filled with energy, life, and so much potential! It was a great way to reflect on what brings us peace, light, love, and life. It brings a focus on what's most important - ourselves. When we know ourselves we can better share all we have to give with the world and relate to those around us.
Friday, August 13, 2010
This has been a most amazing week! We've just completed a 4 day Kid's Yoga Camp here at Alluem and I am floating! The life and energy that flowed from the students who attend was just beautiful. Their light shines brighter then they will ever realize and the support and friendship that they showed one another was a true example of what it means to live in harmony. I am so proud of each and every one of them! (Video and lessons coming soon!)
To all my little yogis...thank you for a most amazing week of yoga, laughter, and love!
Peace in...pace out...Namaste!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Spots still open for Camp Alluem Kids!
Complete your child's summer with asana, meditation, and breathing techniques in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. Get ready for games, crafts, journaling, and nature walks by the river! Open to children ages 8-12 $175 - includes tee shirt, craft supplies, journal, photo book, and more! (ask about our family rates!)