Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Create Peace Project

It started in a Sunday morning Alluem Kids class with a talk about how we can spread peace in the world. One of my 9 year old students said to the class, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could tell kids in other countries how we are peaceful and then they could be peaceful, too...after all it starts with one person, right Miss Karen? Why not us?" So right. I started researching online for a program that could make this possible...and I found the Create Peace Project.
So last November the Alluem Kids participated in the India 2011 Peace Exchange. The Peace Exchange is an international exchange of art and messages of peace between students of the world. The Peace Exchange uses peace cards (6 x8 inch postcards) to foster connect and spread peace. By first engaging students in the practices of peace and then asking them to share themselves, their creativity, their wisdom, and their heart, this project connects students to each other, their classrooms, their schools, and across continents as we bridge cultural, religious, and racial boundaries to inspire and enrich the lives of all participants.
In late February a team of three departed for a 3 month trip to India to complete the second half of the 2010/2011 Peace Exchange. Ross Holzman, along with Tara Shorey and Heather Wakefield travelled to India delivering Peace Exchange workshops and delivering peace postcards from approximately 8,000 students in the U.S. and Uganda. This is the second year of this international art for peace project that has brought them on an amazing journey through North and South India to work with a diverse cross-section of the cultural, religious, and socio-economic Indian population.
Today I am happy to announce, the Peace Cards from India have arrived at Alluem Yoga!!! The cards came from an all girl private school in Delhi, India - each with a message of peace, hope, and love. I love that this program is made possible thanks to the good heart of Ross Holzman. Thank you, Ross. Namaste.

To find out how you or your school can participate in the 2012 Peace Exchange, visit: http://www.createpeaceproject.org/current-projects/the-peace-exchange/

Friday, May 27, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Go Brookstriders!

Congratulations to the participants of the Brookstriders 5K/Fun Run!
The Brookstriders race that took place this past weekend, was a kid friendly 5K promoted to encourage healthy lifestyles in our children. Alluem Yoga was proud to be their Platinum sponsor!
There is nothing we want more then to see our children grow up healthy, happy, and aware of their bodies and their minds. Letting them find a fun way to do this is probably most important! THIS was a fun event and we were happy to be a part of it!

Thank you, Brookside Place Elementary!
Thank you also for your support of our Global Wristband sale! 100% of the proceeds go to Off the Mat Into the World - Global Seva Challenge - Haiti.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you, Troop 40334!

To the Girls of Troop 40334:
Thank you for a wonderful evening of peaceful yoga and Prayer Flag making. The yoga you do on your mat not only strengthens your bodies, but it also strengthens your minds and your hearts so that you can take your yoga off the mat and into the world. Your donation to the Off the Mat into the World Seva Challenge was so generous, but it was your hearts that proved to be twice as big. As your smiles and free spirits lit up the yoga studio, your thoughts and well wishes shine bright for the people of Haiti. You are making the difference in this world.
I am proud to know each and every one of you. You make my heart smile. Namaste.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Therapeutic Yoga for the Special Needs Child

Please welcome Patty Cean Saltzer, MSPT to our Alluem Kids Kula!
As a pediatric therapist and certified special needs children’s yoga instructor, Patty uses techniques from both disciplines to optimize the therapeutic benefits of yoga to special needs children. She holds a certification from The Sonia Sumar Method of Yoga for the Special Child. Sonia Sumar's innovated teaching methods have been improving the lives of children with special needs for 40 years. Patty will work with children in small groups or on a one on one basis on each individual child’s needs.

This class is designed specifically for children with: ADD/ADHD, Autism, Anxiety Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Cancer, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities and much more.
Pre-screening is required for this class and will be held on May 18th 3:30-5:30pm. If you cannot make it to the studio during this time slot, please call to make an appointment. (Patty is also available for Private Sessions.)
This class will run in a 6 week session on Wednesdays starting May 25th from 3:30-4:15pm.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Yoga

Please note - you must be a registered Alluem Little Kid student in the Sunday 10-11am class to attend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

We All Have a Story

We all have a story...and believe it or not, so do our children. Our stories start from the moment we are born and are forever developing as we move down this path called life. The article below is from one of my teachers, Jennifer Cohen Harper - founder of Little Flower Yoga, who so eloquently reminds us to embrace the child you are teaching no matter what story the child comes with and how doing so can make a world of a difference to that child.

"As we come to the end of Autism awareness month, I am very aware of all the information and advice that has been swirling around the children’s yoga world talking about how to support students on the spectrum. There has been some really wonderful sharing happening, but I want to take a moment to remind us as a community of how important it is to embrace every child as an individual. See the soul and not the story, as Seane Corn often says.

In my work with many different children, I have seen how easy it can be to start thinking “this kid has such and such disorder so I’m going to do this with him” or “I can’t do that with this child since she has a developmental delay”. We do, of course, have to be aware of the challenges our students face, and adjust our plans and our expectations accordingly, but often I think we can fall into a trap of habitually teaching to the disorder. This limits our creativity and our ability to show the child all that is possible.

In my teaching I always try to remember that all children have special needs, not just the one’s whose needs are most visible. Children’s challenges, whether they are physical, mental or emotional, are part of what make them who they are, but they are not the only part..."

Click here to continue reading on Elephant Journal

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Camp Alluem Kids and Teens!

At Camp Alluem Kids & Teen Yoga Camp, children and teenagers will enjoy an afternoon of yoga, meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques in a safe, nurturing, non-competitive atmosphere - while having fun along the way!
Ages 12-17: July 11th - 14th
Ages 8-11: July 25th - July 28th
Ages 4-7: Aug. 1st - Aug. 4th
$175 - cost includes yoga classes, crafts and tee shirt

Ages 12-17: Let your teen's yoga practice be the path for discovering their passions, their purpose, and their strengths. As we strengthen our bodies on the mat, we strengthen also our minds and our hearts. Through age appropriate discussions, journaling, meditation, and lots of yoga, hearts will open and they will learn what it means to take their practice off the mat and into the world.
Ages 8-11: This summer allow your child to learn about taking their practice off the mat and into the world. As we strengthen our bodies on the mat, we strengthen also our minds and our hearts. Yoga is more then just the poses - it's also about giving back - to ourselves, to each other, and to the world. Let them connect with nature by the river, with each other through partner poses and games, and with themselves through journaling, crafts, and of course yoga!
Ages 4-7: Get ready for a Storytime Yoga Adventure! With the use of picture books, storytelling, and imaginative play, we will make reading come alive as we move and stretch! Your child will walk away with their very own Yoga Adventure Book that they will make and star in!

Not from the area? Check out some other Kid's Camp options happening in the city at YogaCity NYC! CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our Kids are Aware

The news that Osama Bin Laden is dead has swept the nation. Celebrations rang out over night outside of the White House and around Ground Zero. Images of people standing proud with American Flags have been all over the TVs and newspapers. What exactly we are celebrating is up to you to decide.

Looking at the images of the people celebrating outside of the White House - it was mainly "kids" in their late teens and early 20s. They were kids who when the towers fell were probably between the ages of 8-12 yrs old and very aware of what was happening in their lives. Maybe the images of the towers falling were burned into their mind. Maybe they became afraid of every passing airplane in the sky. Maybe they had sleepless nights because of the tragic events. Maybe they even lost a family member to the worst attack of terrorism this country has ever seen. How they react today, 10 years later, was neither right nor wrong - it was exactly that - a reaction, because inside they still have a sad, angry, or scared kid inside.

But when we slow down today and look at our small children in that same age range witnessing all of this, we have to think...what kind of affect is this having on our children TODAY? I've come across kids who are confused by what is going on because they were simply infants during 9-11 and I've come across kids that after one day of the news hitting our nation would rather hide then hear, see, or talk about what is going on in this nation. It comes down to the fact that they are JUST KIDS. They are kids that are more exposed to the media then any other generation. They see what can happen thanks to methods of mass destruction. They see images of fear and hatred. They see images of people celebrating a death of another. And while we can't hide them from it, we can let them be kids.

Tune in to what your children are seeing and hearing, either from you or from the media. Be aware. Be sensitive. We can talk about it with them, but not harp on it. Let them write about it, draw about it, to get what they need to get out. Let us not instill our own opinions on them. Listen. Let them form their own opinions, say what they need to say, and then move on. We can teach them to breathe through the fear and uncertainty - breathing deeply, counting breaths before bedtime - inhaling peace, exhaling peace. We can help them to relax - visualizing the place where they feel most safe, most peaceful. We can turn off the TV and the computers and the video games and bring it back to the basics. Family board games, getting outside to play in the fresh air - a trip to the park, a bike ride by the river.

For the Alluem Kids this week, it's all about the Obstacle Course! High energy to release endorphins, keep us naturally happy and alert! Focusing our energy on the task at hand and getting through it one step at a time! Ending with deep relaxation - hands on hearts - finding that love inside of us and sending it out to those in need of more love in their lives....because right now we can all use a little bit of love.

"...Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Working Together for a Brighter Future

People say they want peace. Peace in our schools, peace in our cities, peace in our country, peace in our world. Peace starts with the ability to stand together. When we work as one, there is so much more we can accomplish then when we stand divided. This week the Alluem Kids learned that this is possible with a little help from a small black fish named Swimmy.
Leo Lionni's wonderful book, Swimmy, tells the story of a deep sea full of wonders, but also full of danger. After Swimmy loses his first school of red fish to a large tuna, he finds a second school of red fish who have been busy hiding out from all of the wonders the sea has to hold because they are scared. Swimmy teaches the other fish that as long as they stick together and stay strong, they can overcome any danger. And they do. All the little red fish swim together in the shape of a big fish - with Swimmy, the little black fish, as the eye! They are able to live a peaceful, happy life because they worked together!
After partner poses, group poses, and group games, such as the Human Knot and Pass the Hoop, where working together for the same goal was key - the Alluem Kids came together to recreate Swimmy's underwater school scene. Using small construction paper fish to make one large school of fish with Swimmy as the eye. They worked peacefully together glueing and decorating their own Swimmy scene! And then of course...Fish Pose!