By Amber Norman
One of my most influential teachers in life once told me, “If you want to know the depths of something, teach it.” This piece of advice has stuck with me since. One of the ultimate goals I have created while working with children in the Wellness program, is to eventually invite them to create and lead their own wellness sessions. To build up to that takes time and dedication, getting to know yoga poses, breathing techniques, basic meditative practices (such as guided imagery and focusing on breath), and learning how to create a peaceful and engaging environment for others.
Many Kindergarteners have begun the process of creating their own yoga sequences both working cooperatively in groups as well as on their own. Yoga sequences are a series of poses strung together to create a flow that’s fun and feels good. They use the yoga cards to create them, finding poses they want to use, lining up the cards and then teaching their flow to the group. Many problem solving and collaborative opportunities have risen out of these sequencing groups such as figuring out how to make sure every one’s voices and opinions are heard and honored.
Another opportunity for children to be in a guidance role is each person has had an opportunity to be our “Savasana Guide.” This means that they are the person who guides people into relaxation at the end of our practice. Savasana guides help to bring people into a peaceful state by placing jewels on other’s foreheads, giving facial massages (only if both children want to do that, which they mostly do), and reminding people to breath deep. In yoga, Savasana is our final relaxation pose, it’s very meditative and restorative.
Kindergarteners have already had opportunities to play the teacher role within our groups which involves creativity, connection, communication, nurturing, leadership, and an opportunity to be a conduit of peace. I look forward to witnessing how they expand in their knowledge of these mindfulness and wellness practices and pass them on to others.