Happy New Year to you and your family! We hope you had a fabulous holiday and that you are starting off 2017 in a happy way.
2016 was a big year for us at Maine Yoga Kids. We teamed up with A Barefoot Education to offer workshops for parents and teachers, collaborated with the Maine Forest Playgroup to launch a program providing free weekly classes for Maine families, shared yoga with hundreds of kiddos across the state, and opened our studio, Rosemont Studio Collective.
We are so very proud of our accomplishments, and we couldn't have done any of it without the love and support we receive from you, our Maine Yoga Families! Thank you so much for supporting our mission and for sharing the joy of yoga with the young people in your lives.
At the studio, we have adopted a monthly theme that we call our Monthly Mantra. Each month, we focus on a different theme from the book Curriculum of Love: Cultivating the Spiritual Nature of Children. I was introduced to this book in my first year as a preschool teacher. I had an incredible mentor and co-teacher who taught me many things, and she used this book to guide our classroom's curriculum. Each chapter focuses on a different concept to help parents and teachers "provide an atmosphere of love and respect in which children's true spiritual nature can grow freely." It's a beautiful book, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. It can be read in one sitting, but it contains much wisdom.
Our new Monthly Mantra for January is Expressing Harmony. Here's what the author has to say about it:
"Sound the note. Dance for joy. Let the body be a prayer. Through movement and sacred sound, let children know great harmony."
She goes on to discuss the many ways in which children need to move their bodies, and how adults can provide experiences combining movement and sound to help children experience a deep sense of harmony within themselves. So this month, our classes will include lots of creative movement activities and games, with a heavy emphasis on music from all over the world. We will explore singing and kid-friendly yogic chanting, which is always enjoyed by our young yogis!
One of our favorite songs is the Sa Ta Na Ma chant, which combines yogic chanting and fine motor skill development. The mudras, or hand movements, help develop balance between the brain's hemispheres, and chanting the sacred sounds stimulates acupressure points in the mouth, which creates a deep feeling of calm and harmony. Kids and adults can both benefit from this practice, and it's really fun to do together! To see what it looks like and how to do it, you can watch this adorable video and follow along. Snatam Kaur has a beautiful recording on her children's album as well.