The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is a global holiday celebrated annually on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Here’s a wonderful class plan for celebrating this holiday with your YogaKids!
What does Peace Feel Like by Vladimir Radunsky, paper and markers or crayons, music
Children will explore what peace means to them and practice yoga poses to help them integrate the concepts presented.
Introduce the topic. The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. What ideas to you have to help celebrate this day with your family and friends?
Peace Breath – Close your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Do these 3 to 6 times. As you say the word, feel the peace inside you. Send peace to the animals, trees and plants. Send peace to your family and friends. Send peace to countries in the world that are at war. Send peace to all the people you love.
POSES AS PATHWAYS
What does peace feel like? Read the book and present the following:
Peace in many languages:
- Pace – Italian
- Paix – French
- Paz – Spanish
What does peace smell like?
Flower Pose – Sit cross-legged, lean back and place your arms under your knees and balance.
Pizza – Sit with your legs wide apart. Roll out and stretch the pizza dough to the right by slowly sliding your hands down your legs from your right thigh to your right toes. Then repeat on the left side. Now spread some sauce on the slice by moving your hands from side to side on the floor in the space between your legs. Add your favorite toppings.
What does peace sound like? Play some beautiful music of your choice.
What does peace taste like?
Popcorn: Start in child’s pose. Stay still and feel the warmth coming up from the popcorn maker beneath you. Now if you are ready – jump high into the air and POP. POP. POP. Repeat and pop!
What does peace feel like?
Sun Salutation – Start standing in Mountain pose, raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Fold forward into Ragdoll. Step back with right leg into a lunge. Step back with left leg to Lizard (plank). Slowly come down to the floor with your knees, chest and chin. Bring your hips down to the floor, and lift up into S is for Snake (cobra). Curl your toes under and stretch into Down Dog. Step forward with right leg into a lunge. Step forward with left leg into Ragdoll (forward fold) . Stretch arms outward and return to standing. Raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Repeat cycle, leading with the opposite leg.
Grugging – gGoup or individual hugs
Imagine what you could with peace.
Ladder to the Clouds – Stand tall. Reach up and begin to climb a very, very, very tall, imaginary ladder. Climb all the way to the clouds and beyond. Now slowly lower to the ground as you climb back down to a crouch and rest in Child’s Pose.
Standing Partner Stretch – Stand back to back in Mountain pose. Both partners take one “baby step” forward. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists. Keep your feet rooted to the floor. Lean gently away from each other until you both feel a nice stretch opening your chest s and shoulders.
Sit and Twist – Sit cross-legged in front of your partner with your four knees touching. Put your right arm behind your back, reach out with your left hand and grab your partner’s right hand. Breathe in and sit up tall. Breathe out, turn away from your partner, twist your spine, and look over your right shoulder. Switch sides and repeat.
Tree – Stand in a tight circle, each member lifts the right foot, bend the right knee, and press the foot against the inside of the left leg. Reach out and hold hands.
Have the children draw their version of peace to celebrate the International Day of Peace.
Peace Meditation – Lie down and close your eyes. Notice your belly gently rise and fall. As you exhale, feel more and more relaxed. Imagine your exhale melting all your tension. (pause) Notice how you feel, imagine you are filled with peace. (pause) Now send peace to the animals. (pause) To the trees. (pause) Send peace to your family. (pause) Send peace to your friends. (pause) Notice how you feel. Now completely rest. (pause for 2-5 minutes) Now wiggle your fingers and toes. (pause) Stretch your arms overhead. (pause) Slowly roll onto one side. (pause) Gently come up to sitting.
Fountain of Oms– Everyone chants OM at their own pace and rhythm. We start together, but everyone’s duration is different. Just let the OMs keep coming at various intervals; some short, some long. Feel the Fountain of OMs wash through and around you. The sound and vibration is very powerful. Keep your eyes closed and keep chanting. Keep the OMs flowing and allow the sound to cease with its own natural conclusion.