Read With Me

Surrender

The elements are bigger than me.

That is the phrase that has been running through my mind for the past several weeks. In Athens, Amorgos, and again once I was safely back on Texas soil (and even into parts of Arkansas and Louisiana).

The elements are bigger than me.

Obviously I’ve always known that. (Ok, maybe not always – but teenagers can be pretty cocky)

But knowing and honoring are different things, and sometimes even the best of us need reminders.

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Beautiful full moon over the water my last night in Amorgos.

 

 

I am a planner by nature. I always have been. I love lists and calendars and schedules and timetables. If you read my blogs on prepping for Greece or Kansas City, this probably comes as no surprise to you.

I had big plans for Athens, I thought I understood how my time was going to be spent and what I would see and do, and the thing I wanted to do most of all was a day trip to Delphi. I don’t know why I attached myself to this idea so immensely. I was drawn to the idea of the the Oracle and it being the Center of Gaia (Grandmother Earth). Artifacts have been uncovered here dating as far back as the 8th century BC, and it was even the site of the Pythian Games – which pre-dates the Olympic Games. I read myths and histories, I was fascinated.
And then there was the heat wave.
My time in Athens was marked globally not only by a garbage strike, but by a record heat wave, with temperatures reaching as high as 112 degrees. Now try as I might, I cannot control the Sun, and all of the sites in Athens I had been thinking of so longingly were closing early or not opening at all to protect tourists and employees from inevitable heat stroke.  So in the end there was no day trip, no 3 hour bus ride, no gift to the Oracle or chance to dip my hand in the Castilian Spring.
Honestly, I rolled with the change in plans pretty easily and I was feeling a little proud of myself for my growth and immense inner peace. It didn’t hurt that instead we went to Lake Vouliagmeni and the National Garden and splurged on dinner and wine.

 

 

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Sunset view from Mt. Lycabettus

 

We escaped the heat of the city as we sailed to Amorgos, the southern most island in the Cyclades. Once there, we had a detailed itinerary for our 6 days and I rewrote our printed schedule into my journal by hand, because that’s just the kind of girl I am.
As you might have guessed by the context of this post; on Day 2, the winds of change rolled in – quite literally. It got so windy and the sea so choppy that water activities were canceled and moved back again and again. It seemed like every day we were receiving a breakfast announcement of some change to our plans and schedule. Considering that besides yoga, the things I was looking forward to most on the island were snorkeling and scuba, I bore this news with a little less internal grace. Now keep in mind that I still got to do (almost) every activity I had planned- I just had to do them different days than what I wrote down in my well-worn journal, but my yogi patience was starting to wear.
Just like in Athens though- everything still turned out beautifully. Instead of Paddle Boarding I drank Old Fashions on the beach and Scuba Diving became the perfect last day activity to culminate my time on the island.

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The most beautiful little beach that was about a 15 minute hike from Aegialias

 

At the beginning of the retreat, Lauren asked us what our word or goal for the week was; how we wanted to feel throughout our time. My answer was to be present; to feel each moment. I understood how lucky I was to be there. I knew that this time and this space would embed deep into my soul and I didn’t want to give way to distraction.

Then one night after dinner, she and I were talking. I told her of the phrase that seemed sent to me, that I couldn’t get out of my head. “The elements are bigger than you”. And all the ways the elements had continued to change or effect my plans. The way my energy and heart seemed linked into the earth so much more than usual.  She said easily that perhaps my word should be to surrender instead.
I spent the rest of my night thinking about surrendering; how you have to be present to do so, and how much ease it offers, how it is like floating in the beautiful, blue, salt water of the Aegean- you have to let go and allow the water to support you.
I loved it, and I knew she was right. I spent the rest of my days allowing myself to float, to flow, to surrender to my body and breath, and to take in every ounce of that island and hold it in my heart.

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Unbelievable coast line on Amorgos

 

A few days later, we loaded onto the ferry to sailed back to Athens and I had a beautiful last 30 hours spent solo; getting my favorite souvenir and visiting the sites I had missed due to the heat wave (The National Cathedral, the Temple of Zeus, and the Pantheon – though, not Delphi).
I made to the airport easily with time to spare and had a lovely late night flight to London where I met the most interesting Belgian pilot and read my book-club book.

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The Pantheon- they were setting up for a Jazz Concert and I got to hear them sound check.

And that is where my ease in travel stopped for the rest of my trip.
It took me and hour and a half to get through passport control in Heathrow and I missed the last tube into London. I was booked into an over-booked hotel and spent 30 minutes waiting on a shuttle that never came. I lost my “One Night in London” grand adventure and was reminded that other people are just as strong of a force as the sun and the wind and I have no more control over the former as I do the later. I was tired, cranky, and defeated when I finally made it into a bed at 1:30AM.

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The Brits seem a little alarmist about their Exit signs

 

But regardless of my disposition, the next day I traveled backwards through time and landed back in the states. Jet lag hit me like a ton a bricks as I unpacked and repacked, did laundry and snuggled my cat, and jumped back in the car to Kansas City.
The turn around was so quick, I still feel like I haven’t quite been able to process what Greece meant and all the ways it is working inside of me now.
But even so, I was looking forward to my 13 hours over 2 days in the car to sort it all out. I made my way to Texarkana enjoyed the most delicious stuffed tomatoes with a kindred spirit and went to bed with a full belly and the smell of red wine still in my nose.

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The beautiful view from my dear friend’s back yard

 

Now, it has been a few years since I was in Arkansas and I forgot that for whatever reason, the entire state is a dead zone for me. I just don’t get any cell signal there. I don’t know why or how and I don’t pretend to understand how cell towers work. But either way, that’s the deal.
Even still, when I woke up the next morning bright and early and tapped in to my dear friend’s WiFi, I was overwhelmed by the number of messages and voicemail’s that started coming through.

Apparently overnight, my brother-in-law had been in terrible car accident. He suffered multiple injuries to all four limbs as well as his pelvis, spine, and clavicle.
I spent the next hour playing phone tag with my sister and my mom, calling my boss at the Coterie, and pretending like I had a decision to make. But I think we all knew there was no decision or choice involved. I needed to surrender.
I turned around and made my way back to Houston where he had been transferred; even then, the elements jumped in my path as I spent an hour sitting in a gas station parking lot waiting out a torrential down pour that ripped through the sky.
I arrived after he had been wheeled in for his first surgery.

 

Of course, I was worried about my plans. I was worried about my work, and I was worried about all the big and small ways I was inconveniencing those around me. But none of it mattered.

 

 

In the yoga sutras, Patanjali says that surrendering ourselves to that higher force (the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana) is one of the key components to becoming one with the greater being.  To become all we are, we need to surrender the limited sense of who we are – the small self – in order to realize the large Self, or divine potential.

The one power we have, and always will have, is the ability to choose how we respond to life.  We have the power to choose our actions, but we don’t have the power to determine the results.  That is out of our hands.  Thus, part of self-surrender is letting go of expectations – surrendering the fruit of our actions, as it is said in the Bhagavad Gita.  This is a practice of trust.  We trust our energy and intentions, we trust the world around us, and we trust that we are taken care of.
The sun doesn’t resist its own setting – it lets go, knowing that it will rise once again.
When we trust that we’re okay no matter what circumstances come our way, we don’t need to micro-manage the universe. We don’t need to grasp so tightly to our lists and plans. We surrender. And we open ourselves to all sorts of wonderful possibilities and to a sense of calm, of freedom, and of peace within the chaos.

 

I made it to Kansas City a week late. I directed a play and taught a workshop and drank too much wine and took deep breaths. I left early and tumbled back into the arms of my family.
It was not the trip I planned, it was filled with stress and beauty and sweat and acceptance. It forced me to remember the parts of my world and of myself that are most important and it certainly kept me on my toes. (It also gave me 2 grey hairs).

 

The Elements Are Bigger Than Me

And I am so incredibly grateful that they are.

Twisted Tykes

Tykes Take Summer – Camp Week 2

Week 2!
We had so many new friends this week!

It was really fun to introduce new families to our class and I was so glad to see the school year students step up and be leaders, helping everyone through out the week.

Just like last week, each day I tried to keep the same basic structure, with the theme or specific activities changing each day.

*Opening Ritual
*Warm up – Voice, Breath, Body, and Mind
*Pose of the Day

*Game
*Craft
*Book
(^^Most days we only had time to get to 2 out of 3 of these so I’d try to gauge which would give us the most bang for our buck, or think of a way to combine elements of each into a new activity.)

*Relaxation
*Closing Ritual

 

And again, just like last week, We didn’t get to everything every day. Some lessons crashed and burned and others took off in ways I didn’t expect. This week taught me a lot, maybe even more than the kids.

Here are some of our favorite moments of our fabulous 10 hours.

 

 

 

Our Sensory Bottles are such a great way to start the class, they let us practice focus and observation and stretching our imaginations.

 

 

Day 1

The pose of the day was Mountain Pose. I love teaching this pose early and talking about how it looks so easy, but sometimes poses that are still and steady can be very hard.
We learned it on our own, and used our imaginations to see as far as we could off the top of our Mountains. Everyone saw such beautiful things like eagles, snow, their homes, pets, and even dragons!
Then we practiced with partners, standing back to back and feeling each others breath, and using each other to find steady feet and balance.

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After that we read the book This is Not A Stick and practiced all the ways we could use our body to slay dragons, lead parades, and paint pictures. Then we colored our own “Not a Stick’s” to be whatever we wanted and everyone demonstrated how to use their new favorite toy.
This is one of my very favorite books to use in class, the kid’s always have such vivid imaginations when they get to make up their own use for the sticks.

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Mine became a magic wand that helped anyone feeling grumpy or sad find happiness and giggles.

 

 

Day 2

The pose of the day was Boat Pose and everyone did such a good job learning and balancing in this pose on their own and working with partners. I love taking this pose and seeing if we can hold it the whole time we sing Row Row Row Your Boat and adding our arms pretending to row.

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I love seeing the pride and happiness on their faces once they are able to balance with and help support their partners.

 

After making origami boats, we read Where the Wild Things Are and let our beautiful origami boats sail “through a day, in and out of a week, and over a year” before having our very own Wild Rumpus!

 

 

Day 3

Our pose of the day was Bow Pose and with so many girls in the class, I had a hard time convincing everyone that a Bow could be something besides what you wear on your head.

But everyone did a great job and really threw themselves into trying this pose. It can be hard for a little one to take movement that involves their back body so heavily because it’s harder to develop a sense of spacial awareness to the parts of your body you can’t see. But these tykes all did such a great job!

 

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This pose can be so wiggly and fun, but the real challenge is to find stillness between your ribs and hips.

We even tried to balance while keeping our forehead attached to a partners, this created a lot of giggles, but everyone was able to stay balanced on their bellies.

 

I also love that this partner pose also helps them work on eye contact and trust.

 

After that it was time to work on our motor skills and color with our Toes!

We practiced making circles, hearts, and writing our names. Then I let them draw whatever they wanted. Once all the pictures were done, I asked them to make up a story based on their pictures and share it with the class.

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Day 4

Today’s pose was Star Pose and everyone did such a good job balancing on their own! Working in partners was a little trickier, but everyone tried their best and no one quit which I was so proud of. Once we tried the pose solo and duo, I asked them to make up their own version and make their body look like a star any way they wanted! We had some pretty creative ideas and lots of giggles along the way.

 

I love letting them explore their movement on their own terms.

 

For our craft today, we made our own shooting stars by coloring cardboard star cut outs and paint stir sticks and gluing them with streamers and sparkles. Everyone loved being able to see them fly through the air and taking time to make a wish on our stars.

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Day 5

Our very last day of camp for  Summer 2017!

The pose of the day was Half Moon Balance!

Everyone always loves this one because you get to balance on one foot and be upside down! This is a great one to learn after Star Pose, because you can easily transition from one to the other. We worked on it against the wall for a little support and they were rock stars at it!

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Then we played with our brand new Yoga Spinner Game and learned so many new poses like Plow, King Cobra, Triangle, and Wide Legged Forward Bend. Before the game started we had a chat about patience and waiting your turn and it was amazing to see everyone’s self control and focus as they watched and cheered on each of their friends during everyone else’s turns.

 

 

 

 

It was such an adventurous week for everyone and I can’t believe we are already done with classes for the summer.
We had so much fun this week, and I can’t wait to see all of our new friends at parties and classes during the school year!

Let me know what your favorite books, games, crafts, and poses were from this summer. What did your Tyke talk about most on the drive home?

 

 

Read With Me

Kansas City Here I Come

Because of the miracles of modern technology, when this publishes, I will be packing my bags in Athens to head to the airport. I’ll jet to London for a quick overnight and maybe a spin on the Eye, then I’ll be trekking back to the great state of Texas for exactly 40 hours before I hop in my car and head north.

Goodness, I’m tired just thinking about it.

BUT

I’m so happy to be heading back to one of my favorite towns in the world to work in one of my favorite places!

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I won’t actually be working with babies this size, but I love this photo and I think it perfectly sums up how I feel about the Coterie Theatre.

 

 

I’ll be in KC for about 3 1/2 weeks to Direct Shrek The Musical JR at MCC Longview with the Coterie Theatre AND to work with the Master Class students on their Summer Showcase.

 

I feel so lucky that the good people at the Coterie trust me and love me enough to hire me back each summer and give me the chance to play and create and teach.
It sure made moving away a lot easier, knowing that I was maintaining relationships and contracts there.

 

 

 

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Into The Woods JR – 2016
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Bird of Prey – 2016

 

 

While I have to admit, I’ve been a little pre-occupied with Greece,  I have been spending a some time day- dreaming about all the things I want to do in Kansas City .
Of course, I will be working 6 days a week, but I’m sure I can manage some time for fun.

I want to
*Go to the Nelson
*Go to Loose Park
*Go to a Royals Game
*Eat at Oklahoma Joe’s
*Eat at Lulu’s and Cafe Gratitude
*Go to the River Market
*See everyone I love and miss dearly
*Swim at Woodside
*See lots of live music and theatre
*Go to Grinders and the Crossroads
*Take so many yoga classes! Especially at Boulevard Yoga, Karma Tribe Yoga, and The Nelson Atkins

***and so so much more I can’t even think of.

 

I love this town. I love it so much. I love it’s  energy and the heat. I love it’s heart and dirty rivers. I’m excited for the opportunity to stretch and flex my creative muscles and pretend like I’m in any way qualified to direct a musical. And of course you know I’m going to sneak a little yoga magic in for these Twisted Teens.

 

Help me out though.

What else should I add to my list ya’ll?

 

 

Well, I might take a plane; I might take a train
But if I have to walk, I’m going just the same
I’m going to Kansas City
Kansas City here I come

 

 

 

Read With Me

Letters from Mexico

Last year I was fortunate enough to go on my first Yoga Retreat with Lauren Leduc of Karma Tribe Yoga.

We went to San Pancho Mexico and stayed at the Tailwind Jungle Lodge. It was one of the most beautiful, magical, soul affirming things I’ve done.

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Repping the jungle with our crazy pants. 

 

(Hence spending all my money to go to Greece with her now.)

 

On the last day of our retreat, Lauren asked us to write a letter to ourselves a year from now. We would write it, seal it, address it, and she would send it to us in a year.  We could say whatever we wanted, but she encouraged us to reflect on our time in the jungle while it was still very very fresh and to consider the lessons we had just begun to learn.

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I learned a lot about how delicious coffee is when you wake up to the smell of it being roasted. 

 

 

Now because timing is a beautiful thing, I didn’t receive my letter until the morning I left to come to Greece.

In April 2016, I had no idea where I would be living in a year, so I addressed my letter to my sister’s house.

Now, in May of 2017 I had forgotten about this letter and my sister had moved. But, my mom still owned the house, so none of us bothered to forward our mail, and instead, my sister would drop by occasionally to pick it up.

Occasionally means a lot of things and apparently my letter was sitting at the old house for a bit before my sister picked it up.

She texted me and took it to her new house. Where it stayed for another couple of weeks because I just couldn’t remember to pick it up each time I was there. Until FINALLY,  on the Monday I left for Greece, I managed to remember to grab it before I said good bye.

 

I read my letter in the airport waiting for my flight to London and was a little in awe of the words on the page.

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Yes, I know I  write like a 12 year old serial killer.

 

I remember feeling incredibly in tune at the end of that trip, but I had no idea how spot on my words would be a year later.

 

 

Dear Melody at 29,

You’re welcome! This trip was amazing and I know it has changed you and shaped you in some way- even if you don’t remember now.

I am writing from Mexico; laying on my bed under mosquito netting, writing this in the journal Lindsey bought us for Christmas. The fan is blowing (to help with the bugs) but if it weren’t, the air would be the same temperature as my skin. It is perfect here. I feel so grateful and fortunate and in-tune here. I’m scared to go home.

I hope you haven’t fallen back into old patterns. I hope you are starting or continuing the journey towards your purpose. I hope you figure out what that is.

This trip was nothing that I expected. I’m not sure I know what I expected. I think I anticipated more Solitude and down time, but that is not really what I got at all and that is okay. That is great in fact. I had a beautiful adventures and cultivated some lovely friendships and really tried to focus on making each present moment the happiest or most joyous it could be. I feel like I was able to get out of my own head and out of my own way about what I thought I needed or should do.

I think that is the lesson or skill I hope you have held onto the most. To not only focus on the present but to make each present moment the most fulfilling or happiest it can be, and to trust your instincts about what will accomplish that. (Hint: good food and good people always help.) I also hope you are able to get in your own way less. To find your path and to honestly and openly attain what you need to help you along your way. Also, I think I’ve always been pretty good at this; but continue to nourish relationships with everyone you meet and to thank people daily. Gratitude is key.

I’m really proud of myself for doing this. For letting go of a scarcity mindset, for doing something big on my own, for traveling out of the country, meeting a group of strangers, and sleeping in the jungle- all on my own power. That’s not true though. Everyone here and everyone in my life helped create this experience. I am just lucky enough to be a part of it. But I was brave enough to get on that plane- and for that I am proud and thankful.

I hope you, in a year, are even more willing and eager to take big risks and start journeys on your own (you will never end them alone though). I hope you find or have found balance and grounding, but also an open heart and clear intuition. Also I hope you’ve mastered Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (or at least feel more comfortable not being great at something). I hope your daily life includes as much adventure and laughter as you’ve had this week. Believe me it has been quite a lot.

At the beginning of this trip my intention was to cleanse and to shed. I think I’ve done that through sport, and long talks and giggle fits, and tequila, and meditation, and self love. I hope you always have all of those things and that you use them to gain whatever it is you need. Laughter is healing and “you know what you need”.

I could go on and on and write for hours and days, but that’s not necessary. You know what you need to know- it’s already inside of you.

I love you

Melody

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Now I’m not sure what my purpose is, and maybe I never will be; but I am certianly willing to take more risks. And I’m becoming more and more accepting of failure (grateful even). I’ve even been more willing to slow down and to offer myself what I need first. I’m not sure if I learned all those things in the jungle, or if they are just the byproduct of age. But I am very grateful for the reminder that I am on the right path.

 

 

When this publishes, I’ll be getting on a ferry to head to Amargos for my 2nd retreat. I don’t know if Lauren will have us write another letter. I don’t know what I’ll write or how I’ll feel. I don’t know if in a year, I’ll be sharing it with you all here.  But I do know I’ll be changed, and that is not scary or sad. It is beautiful. We are all moving forward the best we can. Doing the work we are capable of and hoping for the best, and that is amazing.

 

So cheers to Melody at 28! May she become better with age as her laugh lines deepen and her world expands!

And to Melody at 30, keep up the good work.

 

Twisted Tykes

Tykes Take Summer – Camp Week 1

Goodness this was a big week!

(In fact, I tried to write a full post of my lesson plans for the whole week and it was WAY too long. I don’t expect anyone to put up with me for that long, so instead you get the highlights.)

 

Since this was my very first Yoga Summer Camp to produce, I was a little nervous. But honestly everything ran smoothly and we all had a lovely time.

I tried to keep the same basic structure, with the theme or specific activities changing each day.

*Opening Ritual
*Warm up – Voice, Breath, Body, and Mind
*Pose of the Day

*Game
*Craft
*Book
(^^Most days we only had time to get to 2 out of 3 of these so I’d try to gauge which would give us the most bang for our buck, or think of a way to combine elements of each into a new activity.)

*Relaxation
*Closing Ritual
This helped everything go much more smoothly for myself and for the Tykes. This way they knew what to expect when and transition times happened a lot smoother. Also, this helps me modify lesson plans as needed while making sure that  we are still reaching our objectives.

Once again, my lesson plans are always fluid. I don’t think we completed everything I had planned on any day, but that is OK. I’d always rather have too much planned than too little.

 

Anyway, these were some of our favorite moments from our very short 10 hours together.

 

Ringing the singing bowl at the beginning and ending of class is always a crowd pleaser, and lets everyone know its time jump into class.

 

 

Day 1

We learned Swan Pose as our Pose of the Day and everyone did such a great job. We practiced it on our own, then added our Swan wings flapping and then head and neck diving down. Once everyone was comfortable in the pose, we got into partners and practiced Double Swan. This not only helped us practice balance, working together, and trust, but it also gave us an awareness of our back bodies and spacial relationships.

 

 

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flapping our wings like a tall, graceful, swan

 

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team work intensifies our stretch

 

After that we learned how to make origami swans. The Tykes were super into this. Everyone made at least 4 of all colors and sizes and then even came up the the idea of coloring their swans a pond or home – which of course I was all for.
We laid down with our swans balanced on our bellies and practiced taking deep breaths and watched our swans floating on the waves. I was so impressed with these Tykes and their ability to focus and to try something new.

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Check out a super easy tutorial on how to make these here.

 

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Belly breaths are easier with friends.

 

 

 

Day 2
This day was all about BALLOONS!

The pose of the day today was Child’s Pose. We learned it on our own, then practiced with partners using stillness and movement, then I even came around and offered gentle pressure and massage as they rested.
This is one of my favorite techniques to help little’s who are getting overwhelmed or anxious. Have them come into child’s pose, then using your palms, press gently into their sacrum or low spine- right about hip level (under the ribs and above the tailbone). If your little one isn’t ticklish, you can walk your palms up and down their spine, moving slowing and deliberately, offering pressure in one spot for a round of breath or two.

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This is such a calming pose and taking it with a partner builds trust and connection.

 

After Balasana, it was time for BALLOONS! We used our very strong and steady breaths to blow up our balloons as big as we could! As students finished, we took a little bit of time for free play to get our bodies and imaginations moving.

 

 

After a few minutes of that, we came back to our mats and tried to balance our balloons on our heads, noses, ears, knees, toes, belly, ect. We tried each body part sitting, standing, and laying down. This created all kinds of fun shapes and let us practice lots of focus and thinking outside the box.

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Balancing the balloon on your toes was definitely everyone’s favorite.

 

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View from above.

 

 

Day 3

Our pose of the Day was L-Dogs, or Supported Handstands, and they could not get enough. We could have just done this for the whole 2 hours and I wouldn’t have heard one peep of complaint. (In fact, they were so excited, I added them in to our warm up for the rest of the week.) We learned how to move from Down Dog into walking our feet up the wall to make an upside down “L” with our bodies. Once everyone felt safe and secure in the pose we started an L-Dog tunnel where one at a time you could crawl on your belly under the rest of the class. We played it leap frog style, so once you went through you added on to the end of the tunnel and the next student went. We were able to span an entire wall from one side to the next this way, these kids have stamina!

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These guys were fearless, ready to get upside down at a moments notice.

 

After all that work, we needed a little rest for our bodies so we decided to stretch our minds by doing a Group Drawing activity. I taped some butcher paper on the wall and explained the rules.
*Everyone can add 1 thing to the picture at a time
*We can only add, not take away
*There are no wrong choices
For our first drawing I chose the theme, we were drawing a park. No one had played this before, so I wanted to give them something a little more concrete as a reference point. We had so many incredible things added in our park, a hill for rolling down, a swing set, a slide, children picking flowers, a merry go round, bouncy duck, and even a beautiful sun and clouds.
This can be a hard activity for some to start because everyone so desperately wants to share their own ideas. So we talked a lot about how in this game we think a little more about appreciating everyone else’s ideas, our goal is to help, to make everyone’s idea better, not to prove your’s is the best.

Once we all agreed our park was finished, I decided we could handle something a little more abstract. It was time to draw our Twisted Monster. This time our rules got a little tougher.
*If you pick your crayon up off the paper, your turn is done
*You can’t say out loud what you think you are adding
This always gets a little squirrel-y, because someone might think they are drawing an eye and the next student turns it into a belly button, but I think that is what is fun about this activity- everyone sees the same things differently. I was very impressed with how quickly these students jumped on board with this concept. We even had a few students form an alliance and work together to draw things that would require multiple colors or having to pick up your crayon.

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I’m calling Leslie Knope right now to begin getting this park built.
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Twisted Monsters have bows and you can see their voices when they sing.

 

 

 

Day 4

Our Pose of the Day was Spinal Twist, and we learned it in all kinds of ways, standing, seated, laying down, with partners, and in a circle as a class.

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Eye contact always helps with partner poses.

 

For our craft today, we created Balancing Butterflies, I had cardboard cut outs of butterflies for everyone to color and design, then we practiced balancing them on our fingers and even our noses!

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Can you guess which one is mine?
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We learned this takes some series skill and breath control not to let it fall.

 

This lead perfectly into our Relaxation, where we rolled up in our mats and I led us through a guided imagery of being a Caterpillar, building your cocoon, and then emerging as a beautiful butterfly and spending your day flying through the air and visiting flowers of all kinds.

 

 

Day 5

Our last day of the week!

We learned Eagle Pose and practiced it with just arms, just legs, our whole body, and then moving from Eagle to Airplane. This is an extra twisted up pose with lots of strength and balance and these kids did a great job!

But honestly, everyone’s favorite part of the day was TWISTER!

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We played so many rounds. Then we used the Twister board to teach certain poses. (ie: If you put one hand on red and one on blue and one foot on red and one on blue you are in plank, if you lift your bottom up, you are in Downward Dog.) I taught a few and then asked them to teach a few. (I love offering the kids a chance to be leaders and use their voices and bodies to communicate an idea.)
Then asked a few riddles like “Are their any poses you can do all on one color?” (Yup! Warrior 2!)

 

And in no time at all, our week was done.

We really had a great time and I loved getting to spend a few extra hours with each of these Tyke’s sweet, smiling faces.

Check out next week’s blog for the highlights of Week 2!