Sno Eye Sock Pillows
Last week I shared with you my Relaxation Ritual I do with my students in my kid’s yoga class everyday. There are Body Smoooshes, Feet Smoooshes and Rock the Forehead. I’d like to add onto this and show you how to make simple Sno Eye Sock Pillows with your children that will be the icing on this delicious rockin’ relaxation Sno cake. All you need are…
Sno Eye Sock Pillows:
- Clean Socks
- Lavender Oil
By the way, I am super excited to announce the registration for my online course is now live and open! If you want more information on how to incorporate Mindfulness, Art and Yoga at home or in school then you have to join me for this fun course. I am providing detailed lesson plans, reflection tools, resources and so many more goodies. Click here for more info.
The other day I was with my middle school students getting ready for the relaxation portion of our yoga class when all of a sudden we heard the fire alarm. We were all extremely flustered and confused. Half the students ran down after putting on their shoes while the rest held them. I tried to get everyone out of class so I was in the back of the line until the principal told me I needed to go in the front of the line.
When I took a look at my students they were giggling, embarassed and confused. After the fire drill we were told we were unprepared, we disappointed the school and we did not take this drill seriously. I was mortified and upset for both my students and myself. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach, I was trembling a little and felt my cheeks flush.
The first thing I did was point blame. Why was I, a teacher, not informed of the fire drill? As a teacher I have always been informed prior to a drill! Why did no one explain to me the fire drill protocol during orientation? Why were we not given time to discuss where to place our shoes and practice what to do during this type of situation.
I felt I had let down my students. I was embarrassed that I messed up, let people down and had been reprimanded.
Then a light bulb went off. Blink, Blink! We do this all the time! I have done this to loved ones and students! We tell people that we are disappointed in them but we don’t set them up for success. We don’t tell them what they need to do and provide them with the tools and practice to get it “right.”
I was so grateful for this teachable moment. I sat down with the girls and we practiced Mindful Breathing. As they focused on their breath, I apologized for not preparing them for this event. I told them they were beautiful and amazing students and were not given the proper tools to succeed but that was going to change. I asked them to tell their inner selves that they were successful students who made choices that could have been better.
The next day we discussed what could make the drill easier, faster, quieter and less overwhelming. We got over the embarrassment of having to hold our shoes as we practiced. We supported each other and created a Fire Drill routine.
My kids were given tools to be successful. I give them space to make mistakes and to learn from them. I listen to their point of view and we work together and learn from our experiences. It was amazing to celebrate our learning experience and take our mistakes and the emotions that were tied to this experience to become better students. We were all students, including myself, learning from our mistakes.
Momma No’s Special Tea With a Twist by MaryJo Johnson, Acupuncturist and Herbalist
A couple weeks ago Sora and I were talking about taking Chinese herbs, and how bad and bitter the decoctions often taste. I commented that in fact, many of the ancient formulas actually taste pretty good, and have an herbal base that makes you wonder if the Dr. Zhang Zhong-Jing, the sainted grandfather of Chinese herbalism who recorded them, perhaps had a thoughtful sympathy for his patients in this regard. When I saw the recipe for Momma No’s delicious tea (highlighted below), I couldn’t help but notice the shadow of one of the formulas that he used most frequently:
Cinnamon Twig Decoction (gui zhi tang) 桂枝湯
Cinnamon Peony root
Fresh Ginger root Chinese Date
Gui Zhi Tang brings the body energy to the surface and balances yin and yang. Zhang Ji instructs to give with porridge and then cover up to induce a slight sweat, which is helpful in resolving colds.
It was the day after Thanksgiving and my mother was getting ready to go on her daily walk. Even before her surgery the one thing that brought her great joy was walking. In the suburbs of New York she loved going to the pond, feed the ducks and planting vegetables. After having cardiac surgery it was extremely important that she continued this practice because it was going to help her recover. Though my mother usually went on walks on her own today she asked me to join her. I quickly got my coat, grabbed the tea she made for me (I have a lingering cough), and we set out. This time we were not in the suburbs of New York, a familiar environment for me, we were down South. I had no clue as to where we were going but contently followed.
Mom set the slow pace, one foot after another, trying very hard not to struggle with her breathing. She talked for a good twenty minutes straight about life, my father, her concerns, how she teases my brother and how proud she is of me. I listened. Have you noticed when someone speaks a lot of your time is dedicated to what you want to say next or how to interject and that just listening is quite difficult? Today, instead of interrupting or adding, I just smiled, nodded, slipped a quiet “hmm” and listened.
We reached our destination which was a small stream. She spoke about how her friend had planted something that was similar to watercress. Each time my mother walks to the stream she is reminded of what her friend cultivated. My mother stated quite excitedly that when the water is low she takes a bunch of these watercress-like plants and cooks them in Korean stew.
After taking a moment at the stream it was time to go back. My mother’s walking was slower, her breathing was shallow, she was clenching her heart and had a slight pained look on her face. I encouraged my mother to walk a little slower, cease the talking and practice Walking Meditation. I explained that she can focus on her breath and each step, one heel-toe step at a time. I asked her to take in the sounds around her and when she realized that she was thinking, to gently push it away and bring attention to her heel-toe step. For the last ten minutes of our walk we walked in silence. Breathing…Walking…Listening…
Momma No’s Tea
Do you ever wish you had more time with the people you loved?
Do you wish you could go and hug a tree without people looking at you as if you were weird?
Do you have an appreciation for all things and at times have so much love and gratitude you don’t know what to do with it?
Or do you wish to create more compassion within yourself and for others?
I have been teaching my students how simple it is to hold in your heart something you love by visualizing that person or thing, feeling it in their body and then bursting it out into the universe. If you set the intention to send love, kindness and peace, I believe it gets there.
Each compassionate intention is like a unique star in the sky or a diamond except more valuable.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Individual\Family Health & Nutrition Counselor
Blog: SnackingOutsidetheBox. blogspot.com
Facebook Business Page: Magnificent Mommies
Facebook: Dawn Lerman
|Mindful Bridge to Education
Sora No Founder, Sno Yoga
Tel: (707) 797-7672 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A reflection from the director at The Children’s Learning Center.
Why Do I Love Sora’s Singing Bowl?
I’m hoping that many of you have been watching Sora’s video newsletters that share what the children are learning in our mindfulness program at CLC. I get so excited when I see that one of these videos has arrived in my mailbox. This week, I was struck by the image of A, her look of anticipation and glee as she listens to the singing bowl. Her expression is filled with wonder and joy of discovering something new. When I first met Sora it struck me how her philosophy of mindfulness meshed totally with many of my beliefs about children and learning. One of the first things she told me was that mindfulness
“teaches children to notice what there is to be noticed.”
I heard that same exact phrase in the work of Maxine Greene, a well known educational philosopher and aesthetic educator whose ongoing work at the Lincoln Center Institute for forty years has influenced generations of teachers. Lincoln Center Institute teaches mostly public school educators how to use the arts disciplines to reach children in a deep way, to help them focus, make and share observations, talk about the work, and build community in schools. Her work had a profound impact on me during my years at Bank Street and much of what I try to pass on to our teachers comes out of the Maxine Greene philosophy.
Another thinker who touches on this type of mindful experience is the Hungarian philosopher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, whose book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, talks about how focused endeavours and the ability to zone in deeply to a task, lead to the height of human experience and what people usually refer to as the happiest or most fulfilling moments in their lives. This ability to zero in and develop a disposition of noticing and working in a deep way, is something we work to cultivate in our students at CLC. What is readiness for kindergarten if not the ability to sustain mindful work that enables one to practice and master skills? It could be argued that development of a mindful disposition is the key factor in readiness for life and has repercussions way beyond the classroom.
The singing bowl, for me, has become a symbol of all of these educational beliefs and aspirations. In the moment when the singing bowl rings, young children can learn so many crucial skills, to
stop, be still, look, listen, focus, think, assess, be alone and in a group, experience silence and the magic of sound, wonder, control, recreate, plan, anticipate, respond, respect the rules, move our bodies appropriately, etc.
Thank you to Sora for bringing us the mindful singing bowl and for reminding me of the basic ingredients that make the preschool experience profound and exciting. Keep sending us those videos!
All the best, Renee
Have you been practicing getting into your Mindful Bodies?
Remember, sit in a seat or on the floor in a comfortable position, your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed and your gaze is soft.
Rub your hands
Sit up tall
Take a deep breath
I use a Tibetan Singing Bowl in the beginning and end of class to open and close. Take a look at how I begin each class.
The Singing Bowl creates a beautiful sound that is calming. The sound rings and vibrates around you but settles within. Many times children will end by giving a big sigh, an exhale, or say “wow!” It provides them time to let go and find peace within themselves. Please give it a try!
In my next video I will show you an activity I do to practice Mindful Love so stay tune.
Have a blissful sno-y day.
October 5, 2011
For the past three weeks I have had the privilege of introducing Mindfulness and Yoga to the children and teachers at a children’s learning center. I am having an incredible time and each day I fall in love with the children even more. Their love and individual uniqueness glows and their spirit for exploration and life is breathtaking.
In the past two weeks we have been cultivating a mindful practice by learning our routine which includes getting our mindful bodies ready to hear the sound of the Tibetan Singing Bowl.
Please take a look at the video created for Mindful Bodies.
You can click on the image or go to http://vimeo.com/snoyoga/mindful-bodies-song.
Rub Our Hands
Sit Up Tall
Take a Deep Breath
Rub our hands – It allows us to take the time to focus on our hands and prepare our mind for a new activity.
Sit up tall – Prepares and aligns our body which helps allow air to flow through with ease and strengthens our muscles.
Take a deep breath – Awareness of our breath, attention to only our breath, brings more oxygen into our body. It creates a feeling of calmness and settles us within our environment. It also prepares us for Mindfulness and Yoga.
OM – This an exercise to give us the opportunity to exhale and creates a tranquility in the room for a safe class.
I welcome you to sing this at home and encourage your children to teach you how to get into your mindful bodies.
Please share with your friends and families!