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Let Your Light Shine Cloud and Rainbow Craft

One of the greatest things we can instill in our children is positive self-image and self-love. There is a difference between vanity and self-love and it is imperative for our children to know the importance of loving and valuing themselves for we cannot expect others to know our true value if we don’t know acknowledge it ourselves.

This simple craft is inspired by the way that brilliant rays of sunshine often peak out from behind the clouds. The cloud represents our physical bodies, and the rainbow rays represent the brilliant attributes that each of us have dwelling inside!

It is our responsibility and our privilege to help children not only identify these positive attributes, but also encourage them to express themselves and share their unique gifts and talents with the world.

preview (1)

Materials Needed

  • White paper
  • Various rainbow colored construction paper
  • Markers
  • Glue

Print or draw a cloud shape and cut it out of the white paper.

Have your child write their name in the center of their cloud.

Distribute strips of colored paper and have your child write something they love about themselves on each piece.

Glue the strips of paper to back of the cloud!

Use this project as an opportunity to discuss all of your child’s positive character traits!

 

Happy Crafting!

 

-Jillian

Goodnight Guided Meditation

Join me for a 13 minute guided meditation featuring gentle poses to help ease the mind and body into a peaceful, restful state at the end of the day. This meditation is perfect for the whole family to enjoy!

The Importance of Yoga for Children

Life is busy. As adults this is quite obvious. We spend our days rushing from destination to destination. The work/life balance is a tough one to maintain. Adults however are not the only ones who feel the stress and strain of a packed schedule. Children are just as susceptible to the negative effects of being stretched too thin.

It is is imperative that children be given the time and tools they need to decompress and refresh their minds and bodies.

My favorite thing about being a yoga teacher is the ability to connect with children. I am very much a child at heart and I love the exuberance and innocence often displayed by young minds. They are receptive, eager, inquisitive, creative and oh so funny! This photo is one that will be featured in my upcoming children’s book. My yoga kids light up my soul and bring such amazing energy to my studio space.

kids yoga
I recently read this excerpt in an article in yoga journal I thought it was so fitting and a beautiful way of describing the creative aspect of children’s yoga. “When yogis developed the asanas many thousands of years ago, they still lived close to the natural world and used animals and plants for inspiration—the sting of a scorpion, the grace of a swan, the grounded stature of a tree. When children imitate the movements and sounds of nature, they have a chance to get inside another being and imagine taking on its qualities. When they assume the pose of the lion (Simhasana) for example, they experience not only the power and behavior of the lion, but also their own sense of power: when to be aggressive, when to retreat. The physical movements introduce kids to yoga’s true meaning: union, expression, and honor for oneself and one’s part in the delicate web of life.”

If there are kids classes near you, I encourage you to check them out. If not, just get creative at home or use our Youtube videos for inspiration!

Happy Posing!

Don’t get Mad … Just ROAR!

Children get angry… but then again so do adults. The difference between children and adults (well most adults anyway) is that most of us have acquired ways of dealing with our anger that are more socially appropriate than yelling, screaming, and directing our anger towards others.

Anger is not bad, no emotions should be seen in a negative manner. All emotions are valid and part of what make us human. Our emotions are how we process the world around us. They help us to express ourselves. Emotions are a vital part of our human existence and all emotions should be valued and respected, especially during childhood.

That being said, it is important for us as adults to help the children in our care to not only identify and process the emotions they are feeling, but also guide them towards appropriate ways of managing theses emotions.

Let children feel what they feel and guide them gently when necessary.

Here is a fun activity for helping children work through feelings of anger.

Design a lion mask. We made ours with a paper plate, strips of paper, markers, and a wooden craft stick.

lion mask

How to Practice Lion’s Breath

Whenever harsh emotions arise, offer lion’s breath to your child. Explain that this type of breath can help push out the overwhelming emotions of anger, fear, anxiety, or frustration.

Have your child sit up on their knees. Sitting back on the heels.

Invite them to think about what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way.

Offer them the opportunity to place their hands on their thighs, close their eyes, and take a big breath in.

As they breath out, invite them to bring their hands up by their face making lion claws and let out a large ROAR!!!!!!! As they roar show them how to stick out their tongue at the same time they breathe out their big fierce lion roar.

Explain that this helps to get rid of those overwhelming emotions and after a few tries, I’m sure they will have a smile on their face. A little bit of silly goes a really long way.

Kids Matter has some exceptional advice for how to guide children through emotional learning. “Parents and caregivers have an important role to play in supporting children’s emotional development. They do this through responding effectively to children’s emotions, through providing examples of how they manage feelings, and through talking with children about feelings and how to manage them.”

 

Happy Roaring!

Conquer the Day with a Morning Meditation

Getting up and getting moving can be the most difficult part of our day. Especially for those of us with young children. A little bit of mindful movement and a bit of positive thinking can help get you going and set the path for a successful and fulfilling day.

Enjoy this short 6 minute moving meditation. Perfect for families and kids or anyone who just needs a little morning boost!

Wishing you a beautiful day!

-Jillian

Make a Match!

I don’t know about you, but when school is out I am on the constant lookout to find ways to encourage summer learning that are just fun enough that my kids don’t even realize they are practicing the same skills they had been working on in school.

My daughter loves to read and just like her Mom, she will read anything she can get her hands on. We have plenty of flash cards and easy reader books that she can blow through in mere minutes but I have been looking for a way to continue her reading practice while having fun.

She loves to show off her yoga moves and she loves to play games. I came up with a simple memory match game that encourages her to think, read, and added bonus…. get active!

I created a set of cards. Each card has either a picture of a yoga pose or the name of the pose on the back. I laid them all out and had her try to make a match. Now we have like three of these games at home already. One is princess themed, one is shopkins, and the third is animals. While all of these encourage working on memory, none of them encourage physical activity or reading!

yoga match

Every time she makes a match she has to hold the pose for 10 seconds. We kept our game small with only five poses. But you can always add others for a more challenging version the whole family will love!

This is a great activity for before dinner or bedtime, or any other time during the day when you just need something fun to do! We used ours during a thunderstorm.

Happy matching!

-Jillian

 

Welcome!

First I just want to say welcome to my site. I hope you find the inspiration and information you are seeking. My vision is for this space to be a collection of ideas for individuals and families looking for ways to incorporate mindfulness practices into their lives.

I am a firm believer that lives are changed when we work together. So please feel free to share your ideas as well!

I started doing yoga in my teens. My first class was an absolute disaster. It was at a Gold’s Gym in my hometown and we were using blocks in Downward Dog. My block tipped a little to the side and I lost my balance. I fell over and took down the older gentleman who had the misfortune of being beside me. It took me almost a year to go back!

Fast forward a few years. I had been using yoga in my personal life to help manage anxiety as well as pain from endometriosis. I loved the way it made me feel and I wanted to share it with others. I was a stay at home mom to my 3 year old daughter and I had my second child on the way. I looked into some local RYT training programs and the rest is history!

Wishing you joy, peace, and love!

-Jillian

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