I was honored to guide a lovely group of pre-teens through A Million Dreams Yoga Camp last week; here are my daily updates. For pictures from the week, check back in about 2 days in the photos section of my site!
We had a great first day--I told the kids that I need more than 3 hours to fit everything in! We began our day by decorating our Dream Journal and gluing in our first inspiration quote--and wrote about what their dream is for themselves--what makes their heart happy--and ways they can make that vision come true. We chatted about what yoga is, and the importance of breath-work and different types of meditation. We used the singing bowl for our meditation practice today, and some Loving Kindness and back to back breathing; we warmed up with a sun salutation and then we did a little dancing as we practiced some heart-opening poses (I did warn them about my awesome dance moves...just sayin').
We had snack in the gazebo outside for some fresh air, and then started work on our vision boards once we got back inside. We chatted a little bit about our service project that we'll begin tomorrow--painting some mini-canvases on easels and writing kind cards for he folks at the Sunrise Retirement Home in Oakton. I'm setting up a delivery date during one of their happy hours and I'll keep everyone updated on that!
We wrapped up our practice with some heart-opening partner poses, Savasana (resting pose), and then played a little bit of Yoga Headbands at the very end. This is such a sweet group of kids and I'm so looking forward to the rest of the week! Tomorrow we'll focus on friends and family throughout our practice.
Day 2 flew by too with these awesome yoginis and yogi! We began class by gluing our second quote into our dream journals, and writing about ways to help show love to family & friends and then working on another way to practice breath-work and meditation. We used a method called Pebble Meditation that is based on a book by Thich Nhat Hahn--a phenomenal 92 year old monk--and they have some pebbles and a little 'cheat sheet' so they can practice at home. We used yoga blocks today and discussed all he cool ways to utilize them, and flowed through our Sun Salutation before we practiced a little Harry Potter yoga (because every class needs a sorting hat...) and thought outside the box to develop poses for each house.
We enjoyed snack outside again and worked on our service project when we came back inside--the kids are quite the artists! We'll continue with our service project tomorrow as well as our vision boards--and we'll also begin our dream catchers. We practiced some balance poses towards the end of class, and were sure to use the wall or support each other for any inversions. And, of course, you can't skip everyone's favorite pose--Savasana--to end the day, along with ringing out the session with the singing bowl and some love-centered breathing and Namastes!
Tomorrow we'll focus on our dreams for our Community, and the heroes around us who don't wear capes...
We do need another hero! (sorry, Tina Turner). We've moved from a focus inward as we envisioned our dream, to looking outward and sending love to friends and family for their dream, and now we're focusing on a communal dream--how can we be a hero in our community? Our journals and vision boards are coming along--there's still time to bring in pictures!
We also started our Knotta Mala necklaces to use for meditation; I talked a little bit about how they are used for meditating and calming the mind, and how this is a special twine that is made by nuns, which is pretty cool. We practiced some breathing while we flowed through our sun salutations, and then had a lot of fun as practiced some individual and partner hero yoga poses like the ones below!
After our snack in the shade, we wrote letters to go with our paintings so we can brighten someone's day at the retirement home, and then started crafting our dream catchers. I think I may have to make camp longer next year because there's not enough time to fit in everything I planned! We rounded out our time together with Savasana as always, some loving-kindness breathes, and said our Namastes. Tomorrow we will focus on nature and the animals around us, and how we can care for them.
Warmly, and Namaste,
Shannon & Callie
Today we focused on how we can help take care of animals & nature, and began journaling about a quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe, "It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong. It's something the best people have always done." And since the ocean is such a vast part of our earth, we practiced some ocean yoga today--complete with crab races--and starting with some bubble breathing. We also practiced Sama Vritti Pranayama--which is just a type of breathing with an equal amount of time spent on the inhale & exhale. The kids are doing so well learning poses and practicing their sun salutations--and I think they've been a little surprised at how challenging some of the poses can be!
After our snack break under the tree, we worked on our dream catchers, vision boards, and Knotta Mala necklaces, and played some Yoga Bingo to round out the day. We also talked a bit about their vision boards, focusing on a couple of their biggest dreams. And, of course, we ended the day with Savasana, Loving-Kindness breathes, and Namastes. Tomorrow we focus on changing the world with that inner light that shines so brightly within their hearts--and some Glowga and a mini-graduation!
Our last day flew by as usual. We began the day by circling back around to Monday's journal entry--what is your dream for yourself? How can you show love to yourself? And then they journaled about how they can change the WORLD. What can they do to make a difference--now and as an adult? They are each unique individuals with SO much to offer, and they need to dream big and shine their inner light to guide the way for others. Even if it's through small acts of kindness, it's up to each of us to reach out and be there for first for ourselves, and then for our friends & family, our community, animals & nature, and the entire world community.
After some serious thinking, we we moved to our mats and rang in the session with our singing bowl for some meditation, and also practiced ways to meditate with their Kontta Malas. We did some breathing while we focused on our world dreams, and then moved into our sun salutations. And then our Glowga dance party, complete with a disco ball thanks to Olivia! We played yoga freeze dance and yoga pose ring toss with the glow sticks, and danced with some fun twirly ribbons too.
Once we were yoga-ed and danced out, we went outside for snack, and then came back to finish our art projects from the week. We also worked on some little bead yoga people if they were done with everything else. To end our zen-tastic week, each yogini chose her favorite pose to show the class, and then while they were in Savasana I laid our their graduation certificate and a candle--to remind them of that light that shines within. We ended with our Loving-Kindness breathes and Namastes, rolled up our mats one last time, and then organized all our goodies.
Thank you so much for sending such sweet yogis and yoginis to camp this week. I was honored to guide them through the week and to see each of their personalities shine through as the week progressed.
So dream BIG, shoot for the moon, and reach for those stars. What will you do to change the world?
Peace, Love, and Light,
Shannon & Callie