(this is a guest post written by kids yoga teacher, Amy Hori)
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” ~ Amelia Earhart
Today’s theme for my elementary class was kindness. I began by going around the circle and having them share a time recently when they witnessed or participated in an act of kindness. They shared things like, “My mom helped me put my clothes in my room with me.” and “My Dad gave food to a homeless man.” I then began to tell them a story of giving and receiving and In this story there is a forest of mango, banana and papaya trees. We began to “be” the trees in our story. They started in child’s pose as seeds and one at a time they went into the center of the circle. I asked the person to the right of them to come and “water” the seed. They placed their hands on the back of their friend, felt their breath in their hands and then said something kind about who the person is. “She is nice, she is a good friend, she is so fun to play with.”
After we completed the circle 9 year old Sophia said, “Who’s going to water you?” It never occurred to me to be watered. I could have thought, “No, this experience is just for the kids” and “What would the parents think if they looked in and I was curled in child’s pose in the middle of the circle?” Instead I said honestly, “I don’t know who will water me.” and they responded, “We will water you!” So there I was in the middle of a circle of 6-9 year olds with all of their little hands on my back saying, “I think she is so nice, I think she is fun, I think she is a good yoga teacher.” What they didn’t know was how much I was needing a little kindness today. Folded in child’s pose I felt my eyes get watery and I received their kindness and smiled to myself.
Today when they practiced tree pose, instead of the typical banana or mango trees, they said “My tree is a magic tree. When someone is hungry the tree grows big red apples for them to eat.” and “My tree is a kindness tree. It’s leaves drop acts of kindness.” and “My tree is a peace tree.”
Just plant the seed, the idea of kindness in a child’s mind and watch it grow.
Amy Hori is a yoga kids teacher and educator and has been teaching children for over a decade. Amy taught preschool for 5 years in Chicago and currently teaches at The Walther School preschool in LA. After obtaining her 200 hour yoga certiﬁcation in Chicago, she began teaching yoga to kids with Mindful Practices LLC where she taught yoga to ages 6-16 in Chicago’s under resourced schools and communities . Amy continued her yoga studies with Shiva Rea after moving to California and volunteers her time teaching yoga to teens at Village Glen School and with Free Arts For Abused Kids. She teaches yoga kids at The Walther Preschool, Rising Lotus Yoga and leads Teen Peacemaker Circles with Abby Wills of Shanti Generation.
Upcoming Training: Intro to Teaching Yoga to Kids, Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks, CA, February 18-19, 2012. To sign up and for more information visit www.risinglotusyoga.com