teaching empowered with mindfulness

a couple years ago, i volunteered to teach yoga and mindfulness to elementary schools in my district. when the coordinator shared the announcement that i (and a fellow yoga teacher friend) would be offering 30-minute sessions for 4 weeks, she was met with overwhelming requests from teachers who were eager to introduce these calming, focusing practices into their classrooms. that spring, i was able to teach about 45-50 kids in 3 classrooms at 2 different schools.

since then my focus of my programming has been rooted deeply in the call for spiritual self-care that fosters compassion, skillful understanding, authentic connection and healing justice. and, as such, focused on serving adult practitioners.

but i was happy to accept the invitation from Lansing Schools Education Association to participate in its Teaching Empowered Rally on Saturday, May 7, where i offered two mini-movement demos.

i had oodles of fun co-creating adventures–stretching our imaginations into silly stories and bodies into silly shapes–and teaching my new little friends to wake up the bell and to listen closely to the sound as it faded.

the joy in sharing this practice with children for as  little as 20 minutes: the sweet connection that develops when we offer them our attention, care, smiles, laughter, and the freedom to make a contribution. bursting with energy and kindness, they helped arrange, reset, and roll up the mats; fed me snacks; hung out with me between sessions — sticking close by as i enjoyed a chair massage (where i could hear the middle of 4 siblings explain that she was waiting for ‘my yoga teacher’); and even took over my camera to get silly with the selfie stick and snap a dozen random photos!

when we nourish kids with the gift of our compassionate listening and empower them with mindfulness, they will shine.


#MarchMindfulness2016: (G)litter Police

This is a parenting joy and a testament to the power of modeling for our children acts of care, connection, and skillful understanding. Without any prompting from me and entirely of his own accord, my Earth Day-born child was compelled to do his part by tending to our home and garden.

Truly, no action nor person is too small to make an impact!

My soon-to-be-6 year old son woke up Wednesday on a mission to get things organized!

Must be the feverish nudgings of spring because he’s actually been on this cleaning kick for a couple of weeks now — packing up old books and toys to give away and meticulously tidying up any surface cluttered with junk the ever-multiplying array of collectibles (his or ours).

It started with rearranging his windowsill full of treasures, the credenza in our dining room, his desk, and a basket of old magazines — which, after stopping him from pitching them all out, we sorted through and recycled.

Later in the day he decided to investigate a stray onion in our garden (his hypothesis: it rolled from the neighboring plot) where he also noticed odd bits of trash that had been scattered around by the winter storms. He launched into action–dashing in for a trash bag then dashing back out to hunt for wind-blown refuse around our communal property.

When I came out to check on his progress, I was tickled to find him singing on the job: I’m the Glitter Police!

Can I say how much I love that he misheard litter as glitter?! If only it were glitter…