Meditation on the Sly

In my other profession, I wear the hat of artist extraordinaire and art instructor. The company I work for holds the classes immediately after school when children are at their most bored, tired, tireless, and energized. An odd combination that evokes craziness amongst the masses.

This has been my job for 2 and a 1/2 years – I had no idea what I was getting myself into or that I would love it so much. There have certainly been some high points and some low points, which continue to educate me as a teacher. Yet, the one thing I’ve wanted to do most is incorporate some meditation or yoga into the class because the children need it because of the craziness. Asking the children to breathe quietly, balance, and close their eyes will garner the exact opposite in the 5-8 year old range. The exact opposite. I know.

While the children have taught me how to talk about shapes and colors (hot dogs, lemons, footballs, vomit, et cetera), they hadn’t yet taught me how to talk about yoga and meditation. Trying to break the child code, if you don’t have one, is much like trying to understand ancient languages without the Rosetta Stone – impossible unless you spend a lot of time staring into space. I tried the below on a whim and offer it to you as your 1.5 minute meditation.

  • Stand up.
  • As you take a big noisy breath in, raise your arms above your head and reach towards the sky.
  • As you breathe out noisily, fold forward and touch your toes.
  • As you breathe in again, stand up, close your eyes, and place your hands and arms in a comfortable position.
  • Now imagine the most beautiful, quiet place you know without sharing it out loud. (That last bit is especially for the children.) No really, don’t share. We don’t have time. Be quiet, or you’ll get a strike. Oh for heaven’s sake. Shhhhhhh.
  • Okay. Open your eyes.

As one girl exclaimed, in a hushed voiced wrapped with amazement, “It’s soooo beautiful.”

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