On a very hot middle Eastern summer day I made my way during mid day beneath a burning sun towards an unknown kindergarden carrying a large bag with a thick yoga mat ,a brand new Tibetian bowel ,a ball with light ,a toy dolphin, a water watch made up of two plastic bottles ,a portable loudspeaker ,my mobile phone would provide quite classical music ,cardboard drawings of animal yoga postures ,lessons plans I had learned during my Sivananda yoga for children course and hope.
I had arrived at a kindergarden at a rather poor area of the city of Tel Aviv .Religious men dressed in white shirts and black pants wearing skullcaps walked along the streets and women in skirts with head scarves covering their heads pushed baby carriages with several very young children holding on .
There would be no yoga mats or blankets or even a carpet for the children but it was a hot day in Summer and so i decided to have the children take off sandals and sport shoes and sit on the floor .
I arrived an hour early as my teacher recommended to do and proceeded to go over the various possibilities choosing an introduction ,a game ,a warm up activity and then teaching the yoga postures as represented by animals using arms to create elephant trunks and arms and leggs made leaping frogs and dogs and cats and butterflies and flowers .
i taught the children the importance of posture in order to breathe better by sitting straight and how to relax laying on their stomachs as I got the Tibetuan bowel on their backs sending its vibrations of Om.
The children were five to six year olds crowded together but all wanted to have me place the Tibetian bowel on their backs ,they loved being butterflies and frogs and dogs and learning to listen to the Om sound of the Tibetian bowel vibrate and listen to how long it continued.
I might never pass their way again ,I was asked to give classes during kindergardeny summer vacation camp hours but I was sure as I led them through guided imagery of colors ,the colors of the chakras,painting their feet red ,their leggs orange , their stomachs yellow,their hearts green ,their backs blue ,their Chins and foreheads purple and foreheads white that later when I leave and they will draw a little boy or girl and color their body parts they will be aware of how their bodies can relax through breathing and moving .
The methods developed by my teacher Guy Dekel,a Sivananda trained teacher and other Yoga teachers were revolutionary in a world where yoga had been taught to children like adults previously but now we had a program how to teach children and even without a yoga mat laying on their stomachs or sitting or standing the children could practice the classic yoga postures and they loved every classic yoga posture the Yoga masters had developed thousands of years ago.
The children practiced inhaling by smelling an imaginary flower created by the fingers of one hand and exhaling by blowing out an imaginary birthday candle using their pointing finger on their other hand.
The lively rumbuxious children had followed my instructions and gone through the yoga postures only struggling with the turtle where they had to tuck their hands beneath their crossed leggs .
- I came hesitant unsure and left empowered by the light of yoga and felt the Sivananda spring of positivity peace love and light permeate even when Israel had its Southern border under an attack of terror fires and the Northern border threatened by Syrian and Iranian military actions sending thousands of refugees to wander homeless as a result of violent attacks by their own regime .
The children would take these yoga lessons with them ,the colors and visions of the art and science of Yoga ,a gift from mother India which would hopefully teach the children they don’t need anything from the outside in order to control their emotions or actions but learn to listen to their hearts and eternal souls and be guided by the light of yoga from within ,focusing on the eternal soul rather than the passing sensory stimuli from outside .Learning to sharpen their listening skills their focus point moving inwards towards inner peace and one day hopefully outwards peace .
Om shalom !
Peace light and love !