by Julie Pate, Certified YogaKids Teacher
YogaKids Momma Marsha has a quote: “I am you, you are me, I am part of all I see.” This concept is such an important one to teach to today’s children because we are getting more and more disconnected due to social media, devices and video games. Yet scientists teach us that it is connection that will provide us with lasting happiness.
Dr. Emma Seppala from Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) says that when connection with others is present, it can boost mental and physical health, and even increase immunity and longevity. Connection to our family, communities and nature is vitally important for today’s children. This meditation uses story and visualization to teach kids about being connected to their peers, family, community and the world and asks them to step outside of themselves to realize the vastness of their own beauty.
A Saltwater Story
An unhappy student came to a yoga master and told her she had a very sad life and asked for a solution.The master instructed the unhappy young girl to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and drink it. The student took a big gulp and made a grimace as the salt water stung her throat.
“That is awful,” said the student.
“Right,” said the master.
The master and student took a short walk and sat down in front of a nearby lake. The master put a pinch of salt in the lake and asked the student to take a sip. The student scooped up some water and took a drink.
“How was that?” asked the master.
“Delicious,” said the student.
“You are seeing yourself as the glass of water, and are being greatly affected by everything that happens to you. You must think of yourself as the large lake” said the master. “You are expansive, you are pure light, pure love, and you are connected to everything you see.”
“I am Part of All I See” Meditation
Lie down and let your eyelids gently close. Feel the soft sensation of our own breath as your belly floats up and down… up and down. (long pause) Now bring your awareness to your heart center… imagine a beautiful emerald green color swirling around your heart. This green become brighter and more vibrant with every inhale. (long pause) Now imagine the beautiful swirling green moving out away from your heart to the edges of your body… moving in to your heart, and away from you. (pause) Now imagine that beautiful swirling moving away from you into the room… moving in and out all the way to the town. (pause) Imagine this beautiful green energy moving in to your heart and out to the entire state, growing larger and more vibrant as it travels. Now imagine this green energy that started in your little heart moving out and encompassing the entire world… moving in and out, pulsating in all directions. (pause) Feel yourself connected to all living things… Feel yourself embrace the entire world, and feel the world holding you warmly in return. (long pause) Now imagine that energy slowly coming back into your heart… swirling, and coming to a soft peaceful flow right in the center of your heart. (pause) Now again, feel the soft sensation of your own breath… feel your belly float up and down… up and down. (pause) Slowly bring your awareness back to the room… wiggle your fingers and your toes. (pause) Slowly stretch your arms overhead as you inhale, exhale through an open mouth. Leave one arm extended, bend your knees and gently roll onto one side and rest. Slowly push yourself up to sitting. Gently float your eyes open.