I chose to call my teaching practice Yoga Garden because I believe that we all have a garden of virtues growing in our hearts. Virtues like kindness, forgiveness, compassion, courage, and honesty. Each one can be thought of as a different type of flower that we are growing in our garden. We water and nurture these flowers-virtues with our mindful attention to them. We also have weeds in our garden, unskillful mind states that interfere in our growth, happiness, and connection. We can identify these mind-states and try to pull our weeds. The children understand this and we often have very good discussions and sharing around our awareness of our Gardens. We choose virtues to cultivate and weeds to watch for.
The classes are a combination of yoga and mindfulness. Although we might spend 50-75% of our time on actually yoga asana, we are spending 100% of our time practicing mindfulness. All the activities and games we do in class have a component of mindfulness to them. We might play a yoga game that practices impulse control. We might play a game to explore our control over our breath. We might do an activity to learn how to deal with difficult feelings, or a game to connect with others, or a practice to develop our strong/calm inner voices.
All the yoga poses are easily accessible; no prior yoga skills are required. We might explore holding poses for several breaths, or moving from one pose to another in a yoga flow. It is my hope that they will like to practice at home too!
All classes have a specific theme. Here is a list of a few examples from the past year: Courage, Sleep, Calm, Self-care, Dealing with Anger, Community, Quieting Negative Thoughts, Energy, Impulse Control, Body Language, Strength, Focus, and Self-love.
If you have any questions, I welcome them.