Ganesha! Week One, 2017
This week your child heard the story of Ganesha! Ganesha is a very mischevious ELEPHANT headed deity who decides to play WARRIOR and chase his CAT all over Mount Kailasa (MOUNTAIN)! The CAT runs and Ganesha pretends to be a WARRIOR in pursuit! The cat hides behind a TREE and a LOG. Ganesha shoots his bow and arrow (WARRIOR II) at the CAT! Ganesha throws the CAT in the air and shoves it in the dirt. Ganesha is playing very rough with the CAT and finally when the CAT runs away, Ganesha goes home to find his mother the GODDESS Parvati, sad and covered in dirt and scratches. Parvati explains that she is all of the earth and when Ganesha harmed the CAT, he was also harming her. Ganesha is sorry when he realizes how his actions affected her and ultimately, our lesson ends with Ganesha's mother forgiving and holding him in her lap (CROSS LEGGED EASY POSE). She explains that we all have the tendency to be harmful, but we should try our best to do less harm!
Your child retold the story through dramatic play using the yoga postures for the words I capitalized above, acting out each of the postures! We then practiced a mantra to help us remember to be more peaceful.... PEACE BEGINS WITH ME. We tap our thumb to each 4 fingers as we recite this mantra (one word per finger tap). A mantra is one meditative method to teach focus and can help children calm down when they are very excited, nervous, scared or mad.
Our class always includes a trip to "the secret garden" towards the end of class where your child experienced SAVASANA, a deep relaxation. You may want to ask your child to describe his or her secret garden to you... what did they see, here or smell? Did your child meet anyone there? As they came out of deep relaxation, they reviewed a yogic breathing technique - Breathing In Peace, Breathing Out Joy. Breathing in I relax, Breathing Out I Smile.
Finally, all students took home a stick that they can transform into a "Talking Stick". We made intentions for what we wanted inside the stick... some of the responses were "Peace, Joy, Laughing, & Smiles) Now, they can decorate these at home and bring them back to class next week to share their creations! A talking stick is a great way to transform family conversations by developing self-control and improving skills in listening and turn-taking... as only the person holding the talking stick get's to speak! Our family uses are card deck with open-ended questions to guide conversation and then we each take a turn answering. I hope that you enjoy helping your child transform their stick and that it provides many opportunities for inspired conversation in your home!
GANESHA’S LESSON was borrowed from Sydney Solis, Author of Storytime Yoga for Kids - Is a A Story from India which teaches us the 1st golden rule of yoga... non-harming/non-violence which is called Ahimsa!
Our Mantra: Peace Begins With Me is borrowed with great admiration and thanks to "Kidding Around Yoga"