Journal

Sept 18th 2016

A BIG shoutout to Ria for writing the below class journal. Thank you very much Ria, I am proud of you!

I have been encouraging all the older kids to participate in journaling the class activities.

Please read about chia seeds and add 1 table spoon in water for older kids and 1 teaspoon for younger kids as their juice to school. Come up with your own recipes and share it with us.
Namaste Parents,

Today, in class, we started of with surya namaskars and learned about how we balance ourselves. It is a great way to start of the day!

What did in class? We learn all of the Surya Namaskar poses and chanted the mantras too. We also learned about our balance by have a tree pose contest for 1-2 minutes! We also learned about our food and nutrition, it is extremely important that kids should not have sugar before bedtime, it will cause cavities. Be sure to have fruits and vegetables. As kids grow older, they have the temptation for junk food. “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!”

What we discussed? What is yoga? “ An ancient spiritual scienceitual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily positions, also for  health and relaxation.” Kids will learn about themselves and how to control their inner feelings and thoughts. We also learned about balance and posture by having a tree pose contest!

Homework: Just like the last couple of weeks, kids should continue their grandparents interview. Also continues to write in their journals to express their inner thoughts, instead of getting mad and keeping it inside. Also they should work on their balance and how it impacts our lives.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and laughter

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

July 29th 2016

Namaste Parents,

Once again, I apologize for the late emails. Despite that, last Friday’s class was another success. We did a few basic yoga poses, but the class was mainly revolved around tai chi. For those who don’t know, Tai chi used to be a form of martial arts, but now a days is used as a form of exercise with many health benefits. Personally, I think that it’s really cool that the children get to try both yoga and Tai Chi, because they are now able to learn multiple ways and techniques they can connect with the energy around them. They first thing we did was take the energy around us and inside us and release it back into the air. This was so we can have a clear mind and also so we can get a basic understanding of how we can all connect with the energy around us. We continued to do a few more basic Tai Chi poses, then decided to take it one step farther. We learned how to connect with the energy around us by simply rubbing your hands then pulling it apart slowly. Then, we learned to connect our energy with our neighbors energy. ( Ask your child to show you this and try to do it with them.) Lastly, we all connected with the energy in space, such as heaven and earth. After completing these, we decided to do a few more yoga poses and laid down listening to a story.

What we discussed?: Today’s discussion was a very interesting one. It was about whether or not we are floating in space. This was a pretty difficult idea to grasp, but as we continued to discuss, it resulted in us to view our world in a different way.  To start, ever since we were kids we were introduced to the fact of gravity and how we can’t float and fly, but is that completely true? It’s complicated to explain, but aren’t we actually floating in between two energies, one being gravity and the other being an unknown energy. On Earth, there is gravity which is why everything is grounded, but in space you can float around but is there anything between them. Yes, technically humans are the ones on ground and in space at the same time. To basically, sum up we are not completely grounded since we still have moment, but we are not completely in space since we aren’t floating around, so isn’t it safe to say we are in between earth and Space and are partially floating around. I know this might sound crazy and unrealistic, but how much more fun would we have if we all believed we were floating in space.

After completing our discussion we decided to lay down for a while and listen to the Giving Tree. It’s such a beautiful story and when you get the chance you should try to read it. We didn’t get to completely discuss this story, but we were able to sum it up and hopefully we can come back to it, this upcoming class.

Homework: As many of you take off to go to India or are preparing for your grandparents arrival, don’t forget to interview them. It will not only help you bond with them, but will also teach you how they ways of life were in the olden days. Other then that, we hope you’re all having a great summer and enjoying yourselves.

Lots of Love and Laughter 😀

Pranathi & Rohini
—————————————————————————————————————————————–

June 5th 2016

Namaste Parents,

 

This is just a reminder that our yoga annual day will take place this Sunday,  June 12, 2016, at  Merrill Park, Colonia, NJ. Families should try reaching the park at 7:45 in the morning. We will be starting at 8:00 am sharp. If you have any questions or would like more information go to: http://silentchakra.com/sch/event/yogaday2016/. We hope to see you all there. Yoga kids will receive their participation trophies.

 

This week’s class was extremely engaging and exciting. We did basic yoga breathing, played games, and discussed about school and activities. On top of this, we decided to switch up things and incorporate tai chi into it. Throughout the weeks we have grasped an understanding of yoga and asanas, so we thought it would be fun to try something different. We learned basic tai chi movements and discussed how similar they are to yoga asanas and breathing. All and all, by broadening what we are learning we can gain a deeper understanding of our mind and bodies, while not losing interest.

 

Games: Today upon the kid’s request we decided to play freeze tag once again. There was one kid who was “it” and had to catch the others as they ran around everywhere. When you got tagged you had to do a yoga pose until another player comes and untags you. Overall, it was a great game and the kids were able to let all their energy out.

 

Happy Birthday Sania: Happy belated birthday Sania. It’s such a pleasure to watch you grow and learn. We can’t wait to see the incredible women you will turn into and hope your days are bright. We also thank you for sharing chocolate covered strawberries. They were extremely delicious and tasty.

 

What we discussed?: This week we didn’t have a topic we discussed on. It was more of a relaxation chat. In this conversation we talked about the importance of taking a sport and an instrument. This is so you can be active and work both parts of your brain. This will lead to more intelligence and positive benefits throughout life. Other than that, we basically just sat down for a few minutes and were able to enjoy time for ourselves.

 

Hope you all have a great week and see you at yoga day!

 

Lots of Love and Laughter 😀

Pranathi & Rohini

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

May 15th 2016

Namaste Parents,

This class was another fun and engaging class. It was filled with laughter and positive energy the whole time. We did everything from talking about nutrition to sharing stories about our fears. We simply started of the class by discussing the importance of eating fruits and fresh produce. We then completed basic yoga poses and stretches. Next, we put our legs on the walls and stretched them out as much as possible, while working on our balance. After that, we did interesting partner poses together. Overall, this class was more exercise based, but still managed to be packed with excitement.

Happy Belated Birthday to Veda and Arundathi!

Happy birthday to two beautiful young women. We hope your days are filled with joy and happiness and we thank you for sharing fresh fruit with us. Not only were they delicious, they were healthy, and a great way to cool down after class.

What we discussed?:  We continued to talk about the topic of unknown fears as a continuation from last time. This is because this is a major issue in this generation and these ideas have to be reinforced in order for the children to grasp them. We started off going around the circle asking each other what situation we felt uncomfortable in throughout the week. Then, the children were asked if they wrote in their journals when they felt stressed and scared and also were reminded to share their thoughts with their parents. Even though it might not be apparent the bond between parents and their kids are very important throughout life. Next, we took this topic to the next level and thought about why we feel a particular way in some situation and how we can avoid it. For example, in the class we talked about how sometimes you feel uncomfortable when walking into the basement. Why might someone feel this way? They are scared and have this feeling someone might be following them. How can they face this fear? No matter how silly it sounds, the person should try talking to the ghosts and pretend that they are silly creatures. Turn the negative situations into positive ones. Not only will this help you face your fears it will help you remain healthy in the long run. This is because  negative thoughts and emotions are stored in the body’s organs. Over time, the accumulation of the negativity erodes the organs health and affects the person’s disposition.

Homework: Kids should practice balancing poses at home and stretch their legs using the support of a wall. As always, the children should also continue to write in their journals and talk about their feelings and emotions with their parents. Lastly, everyone should write a statement in the format “ I feel uncomfortable when ……. because ………”

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

May 8th 2016

Namaste Parents,

From this week onwards we have decided to switch up the way we run the class. Usually our class consists of us doing asanas, playing games, talking about our health, etc., but it is time we gain a deeper understanding on our thoughts and stop treating the kids as young children, but rather as adults. We will continue to do asanas and play games, but on top of that we will choose a topic that we will discuss each week. Afterall, yoga is not just physical, but also mental and is considered a way of living. If anyone has a topic or idea they would like to share with the class feel free to email or text Rohini aunty.

This week’s class: We started of the class by just completing a few basic asanas, stretching and doing some basic breathing exercises. After completing that we decided to play a version of tag where there was one person “it” who tried chasing everyone else running around the mats. The only catch was that everyone had to hop on one foot. By the time we finished this activity all the kids were tired, so we decided to sit down for a while, examining our breathing patterns and our heart rate. After everyone calmed down, we decided to change it up a bit and did the moon salutations. The kids should practice this at home and should complete them in the evening. Lastly, we decided to sit down  and talk about this week’s topic.
What we discussed?: This week’s topic was unknown fears. The constant questioning of what’s going to happen next or what will I do tomorrow? This constant questioning can lead to a type of anxiety in a child or can result in them to become stressed out. They might become restless in a new place, become short of breath in some situations, wake up screaming in the middle of the night, etc. If someone doesn’t find a solution to these issues it might create great damage. Afterall, we only have one body our entire life and we have to take good care of it. To start off, whenever a child feels restless and anxious tell them to write down what they are feeling at that moment. Also, ask them to write down what, who, or where makes them feel stressed and uncomfortable. On top of this, as parents, you should be willing to sit down with the child and just listen to what they are saying. Don’t question them or give them advice, just listen. What the kid is saying might sound unrealistic and strange, but that’s only because you haven’t faced situations like this growing up. The truth is, that this new generation is facing problems we’ve never experienced before, and the only way to help them is to listen carefully to what they are saying. Only give them advice when they ask for it. Lastly, kids who are struggling to face their unknown fears should go to a place where they feel the most comfortable and sit with themself. When doing this they should think about why they are feeling this way. Next class, we will also be learning a meditation technique, which can also be used in these type of situations. Our minds are tricky things and we have to be willing to search deeper into them and be willing to take time to ourselves to open up ourselves to new possibilities and to conquer our fears.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

April 19th 2016

Namaste Parents,

This week’s class was uplifting, engaging, informational, and much more. Each second was filled with excitement and entertainment. Once again, the class started with a beautiful chanting of the Surya namaskar mantras and poses. After completing that we were able to have do a few more yoga poses including tree pose, dancer pose, and crane pose. As we wrapped up our exercise, breathing, and poses we prepared ourselves for a show and care.

Shout Out: We would like to thank Riya for teaching the class how to make wonderful duct tape roses during this week’s show and care. Show and care is basically our show and tell where each child has the opportunity to teach the class  how to create something or demonstrates one of their hobbies. ( ex: dance, singing, etc.) As stated, this week we learned how to make duct tape flowers which were truly incredible and all of us had a great time making them. Altogether, it was a fun craft that can be completed at home.

flower

What we discussed? Unfortunately this week we didn’t get the chance to talk about food and nutrition. Instead, we were able to discuss a great topic which was brought up by a student. The topic was bullying. There are many different types of bullies out there who are intimidating and are resulting in a negative impact, but how do we deal with them? If we go in between the bully and the victim  it could result to more trouble, and by the time we call a teacher it would already be too late. As kids, they have the opportunity to understand what bullying is and try to put a stop to it.

Homework: For homework the kids should try to get a deeper understanding of what bullying is. They should try to come up with a good solution to the conflict. When doing this it is important that kids keep in mind the perspective of both sides: the bully and the victim. On top of this students should practice their Surya Namaskar mantras and continue to write in their journals.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

March 13th 2016

Namaste Parents,

Today was a very enjoyable class and was filled with many exciting games, activities, and stories.

Games:  This class we had the chance to play a version of freeze tag involving yoga. The children had  a blast as they ran around trying to tag each other and were able to explore new yoga poses. There were two kids who were “it” and had to catch the others as they ran around everywhere. When a child got tagged they had to freeze in a yoga pose. Overall, it was an enjoyable game that the kids loved, and insist on playing again. Sun salutations was a part of the yoga game.

Food and Nutrition: As children grow older it is important that they have the energy and nutrition to get through each day. This is the reason why it is important that every kid has a fruit a day. They are plenty of health benefits that come from this and is all around something everyone should take part in. On top of this, there are so many different varieties to chose from and fruits are an enjoyable snack. Another important thing to remember is to drink water frequently. Your body is made up of around 60% water and needs to stay hydrated throughout the day. Research shows that at the age of 5-8 a kid should drink 5 glasses (1 litre) of water and at the age of 9-12 a  child should drink 7 glasses (1.5 litres) of water. It is important to keep these concepts and ideas in mind in order to be able to live a healthy lifestyle.

Homework: Please ask kids to stretch their hamstrings by placing their legs on a raised platform and touching their nose to their knees. Also they have to continue writing their journals. Please get the kids some seeds to plant in their pots. They have to grow  plant and be friends with them.
What we discussed? Today at the end of class we were able to discuss how important it is to not let negative energy affect you and not criticize others as well as ourselves. This theme was demonstrated through two very fascinating stories and experiments. The first one occurs in Solomon Islands. On this island specific tribes of villagers practice a unique form of logging. When a tree grows too large to cut down, the natives cut it down by yelling at it and cursing at it. After thirty days or so it is believed that the tree dies and falls over. The theory behind this is that  the hollering kills the spirit of the tree and it proves that all living things do have feelings and are impacted my words and actions. Another interesting article that expresses this idea is about an experiment conducted by Dr. Emoto on water. He exposed music, words spoken, words typed, pictures, videos, etc. to water. The results were mind-blowing and truly incredible. After sharing this we were able to learn that if a few simple thoughts can affect water,  imagine what our thoughts can do to our own bodies considering the fact that we re made up of 60% water. It is a truly fascinating idea and can be explained in depth in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAvzsjcBtx8.

Lots of love and laughter <3

Pranathi Alluri & Rohini

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

February 29th 2016

Namaste parents,

We had lots of fun running around in the most popular tag game. This time kids were strategizing and grouping to tag. After the tag game, with their racing heartbeat, I asked the children to breathe completely. Breathing in thru nose into the belly and out thru the nose. Explained them the need to breathe right while stressed or having test fear or anything.

Shoutout: A loud shout out to Mansa for teaching us how to make a puppet with a beautiful moral story of a lion and a mouse. The best part that she taught us is to name the puppet and talk to it every day. This relaxes the mind and we can be at ease with ourselves.

Following are some experts from an article by Rebecca Kajander, CPNP, MPH and Erik Peper, PhD on breathing and biofeedback.

The process of breathing has been linked to consciousness, health, and spirit. Newborns naturally breathe using diaphragmatic breathing. However, by the age of 10, most children use a shallow thoracic breathing pattern. Research indicates that patients who were taught diaphragmatic breathing experienced significant decrease in numerous physical and psychophysiological symptoms.

We breathe our first breath at birth and our last at death. The process of breathing has been linked to consciousness, health, and spirit. Common phrases such as I couldn’t catch my breath, I need a breath of fresh air, I waited with bated breath, It was a breath taking view, and Give me some breathing room,” use the concept of breath to describe the mind/body connection. One’s breathing pattern varies depending upon their level of physical fitness, current activity, and awareness of their breathing.

Dysfunctional breathing patterns such as thoracic breathing, gasping, and breath holding and hyperventilation, may contribute to discomfort from problems such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbance, anxiety, asthma, and hyperventilation.

More common pattern of dysfunctional breathing is observed when a patient exhales incompletely with every breath. This leads to hyperventilation followed by a big sigh. This can easily be assessed with the following exercise:

To see if breathing affects symptoms: For one minute, ask your patient sit quietly, inhale and then exhale only 50% of their breath before inhaling again.

Many people quickly report discomfort, including pounding in their chest, dizziness or increased feelings of anxiety. When you can evoke a symptom, the power of controlling breathing is reinforced.

Another dysfunctional breathing pattern is breath holding. When people are very vigilant or fearful, they typically hold their breath. This triggers the alarm reaction or stress response. With training and practice, people can learn to focus on their exhalations and continue diaphragmatic breathing while being vigilant. For example, imagine that you are threading a thin thread into a small needle hole. Imagine holding the needle in front of you. As you push the thread through the small eye of the needle, are you holding your breath?

Diaphragmatic breathing has a positive effect on every system of the body. It calms the nervous system, slows the heart rate, and lowers blood pressure. It slows brain wave rates thus “quieting the mind.” It stimulates the immune system, decreases peripheral sweating and increases peripheral warming. It helps to control symptoms such as migraine and chronic tension headaches, recurrent abdominal pain, anxiety, and sleep onset disorders. Diaphragmatic breathing can enhance relaxation and physical stamina.

HOMEWORK: Do diaphragmatic or “belly breathing”

  1. Lay on the floor or sit up straight with your feet supported.
  2. Put one hand on your chest and the other hand over your belly.
  3. Exhale all your air, until your belly pulls in slightly.
  4. Imagine you have a balloon underneath your belly button that inflates as you inhale and deflates as you exhale.
  5. Breath in through your nose and pull the air deep into your lungs. Feel your belly expand, like a balloon blowing up. Exhale slowly through your nose. Feel you belly go back in, like a balloon deflating.
  6. Breath in slowly – inhale to the count of 3 seconds and exhale to the count of 6.
  7. Keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible, they should not rise as you inhale.

Lots of love and laughter

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

February 28th 2016

Namaste Parents,

We warmed up to Surya Namaskaras along with healing sounds.

Everything is energy. Negative emotions are stored in the body s organs. Over time, the accumulation of the negativity erodes the organs health and effects the person’s disposition.

The Healing Sounds work to transform the negative energy stored in the organs into healing light. That works better than holding onto negativity or dumping it out onto someone else because such emotional venting only serves to pass an emotional virus.

The Lung Sound

Fear is stored in the lungs. The lung sound transforms fear into courage.

Lung sound: Place your tongue behind your closed teeth and, with a long slow exhalation, made the lung sound “SSSSSSSSSSSS” (like the sound of steam from a radiator).

Shoutout: Belated Happy Birthday Varshini!!

 A big shoutout to Varshini for not only sharing the art of paper qwilling with all of us but also a beautifully arranged fruit cup. Yummmyyyyyyyy….

Homework: Next class (02/28) is the yoga test and please prepare yourself and the kids to do the below assigned yoga poses. Kids will be testing you too parents!

Name Asana
Diya Tree Pose
Chinoo Both feet touching back of head
Veda Spinal twist
Shriya Both feet touching back of head
Lasya Eagle Pose
Shradha Cat and Cow Pose, Dancer Pose
Arundathi Shoulder Stand
Varshini Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Triangle Pose
Mansa Camel Pose
Ria Crane Pose
Sania Spinal Twist
Deeksha Wheel Pose
Sarthak Surya Namaskar Mantras and Surya Namaskar

Lots of love and laughter 🙂

Rohini

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

February 3rd 2016

Namaste Parents,

We had a fun class playing chain tag. Keeping the body mind awareness it was a challenge for the kids to make a chain holding the hands and not to break away while tagging the other kid. After the tag game was over they were made to place their hands on their chest to feel the heart beat and breathe gently connecting with the heartbeat. They also had a drink of water where our discussions moved to why we drink water when we are thirsty.

Asana

Sanskrit Name: Marjaryasana – Bitilasana

English Name: Cat Pose – Cow Pose

Method

Cat-Cow Stretch is the combination of Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) and Bitilasana (Cow Pose). The two asanas are paired together for a gentle, flowing breath-synchronized movement/vinyasa from one pose to the next as you inhale or exhale; that is, your movements will match your breathing.

  • Begin on your hands and knees in Table Pose. Your hips should be set directly over your knees and your shoulders, elbows, and wrists should be in line and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your back straight (like a tabletop) and your spine in a neutral position. Let your neck be long and your eyes soft, looking at the floor. Stabilize your shoulder blades by drawing them down your back.
  • Once you have established Table Pose, move into Cow Pose. As you inhale, simultaneously lift your sit bones upward, press your chest forward, and allow your belly to sink towards the floor. Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and gaze straight ahead.
  • As you exhale, come into Cat Pose. Simultaneously round your spine outward, tuck your tailbone, and draw your pubic bone forward. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest. Note: if you have a neck injury, keep your head in line with your torso throughout Cat-Cow.
  • Go back and forth between Cow and Cat on each inhale and exhale, matching your movements to your own breathing. Do this for 5-10 breaths and try to keep an even distribution of weight between your hands and knees. After your final exhale, end the stretch in Table Pose.

Benefits

  • Improves posture and balance
  • Strengthens and stretches the spine and neck
  • Stretches the hips, abdomen and back
  • Increases coordination
  • Massages and stimulates organs in the belly, like the kidneys and adrenal glands
  • Creates emotional balance
  • Relieves stress and calms the mind

Homework

Please play chain tag with your children. Discuss the need to drink water. As always atleast 6 SuryaNamaskar every day before they go to school. Make yoga time a fun family time. Let us learn from the kids.

Activity

Our yoga student, Daya, will be sharing her talent on Origami next week (2/7). Sharing is caring, be it a toy or a talent, let us share and care for the world we live in. All of you are welcome to share your talents in the class.

Lots of love

Rohini

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

January 2016

Namaste Parents,

Every parent knows the challenge of overtired, overstimulated children. Most of us have either said, or heard someone say, “Calm down!” to out of control youngsters. But what does it really mean to calm down? Do our kids know what we are really asking for?

Eagle pose or Garudasana was introduced to the kids, this pose works by occupying the whole body and mind into one activity by centering, calming and balancing. By design, we also become calmer when we help our children relax.

Asana:

Sanskrit Name: Garudasana, Garuda = the mythic “king of the birds,” the vehicle of Vishnu

English Name: Eagle Pose

Method:

  1. Bend the right leg, lifting the foot from the floor and cross your right thigh over your left.
  2. Hook the right foot around the left calf.
  3. Bring the arms out in front.
  4. Cross the left arm over the right and bring the palms to touch.
  5. Lift the elbows while keeping the shoulders sliding down the back.
  6. Hold 5-10 breaths.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

  • Strengthens and stretches the ankles and calves
  • Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves sense of balance

Home work:

Please have you child do atleast 6 surya namaskars every day before they go to school. It brings a flow of energy to start the day. Practice Garudasana until you get the balance to hold the pose for a count of 20. Discuss about fear and what it means to them. They include fear of strangers, heights, darkness, animals, blood, insects, and being left alone. Kids often learn to fear a specific object or situation after having an unpleasant experience, such as a dog bite or an accident. Separation anxiety is common when young children are starting school, whereas adolescents may experience anxiety related to social acceptance and academic achievement. It’s important for parents to recognize and identify the signs and symptoms of kids’ anxieties so that fears don’t get in the way of everyday life.

Love n Laugh

Rohini