Engaging the Muscles of Will Power at Keheley Elementary, Cobb County

Written by Cheryl Crawford on . Posted in Elementary School Yoga, Inspiration

How DO we get in the flow of Motivation and Activation?

We  build the energy resolve and momentum we need to hook into and remember our goal.

We remember. Energy follows thought.

What we pay attention to is pretty important.

If we pay attention to our worries, our doubts, our made up stories about our shortcomings, well, our energy will go there.

Yoga is a practice of training our focus and concentration so that we have choices about where we place our attention, where our energy goes and what aspect of ourselves we feed.

Yoga is about harnessing our attention, about managing energy and about consciously choosing what we are going to do with our energy, with our vital force once we gain access to it.

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One of the most immediate and accessible ways to show someone that we care about them is to pay attention to them.

Paying attention in poses is the same way. It is about having a loving and respectful relationship with ourselves, about really getting to know who we are down to the nitty gritty of knowing what our pinky toe is doing and how it’s action relates to our knees, our hips and our hearts..

Our yoga practice speaks to every part of our body. It nourishes us in a revitalizing way.

It smooths out our nervous system.

It restores, it grounds us

It trains our brain

It engages our Will Power

It teaches us~
I WILL Power support for alignment actions with my goals.

I WON”T Power up my worries and doubts. I won’t do something I know deep down isn’t cool.

I WANT Power to hold on to my big picture, my vision.

Every time we take an action that engages the muscles of willpower, they get stronger!

Thank you, Keheley Elementary in Cobb County, for inviting us to your bright school! Your students and coaches are full of dignity and respect and it was such a delight to move and breathe and laugh and get still with you all! Keep on flexing your will power muscles!

 

Worry to Wonder {Full} at Clarkston High

Written by Cheryl Crawford on . Posted in Community Supporters, Curriculum, High School Yoga, Inspiration

Widen Eyes, Hearts, Inhales

WIDEN  Stance, Chests, Exhales

WIDEN Strength, Balance, Inhales

Widen Roots, Branches, Exhales

Widen Trust,  Perspective, Inhales

Widen Reach, Smiles, Exhales

Widen Wisdom, Wonder, Inhales

Widen Worth, WOW, Exhales

Sat Nam, Clarkston High~ We WITNESS your WORTHINESS WITH WILD WONDERMENT!

 

No Mat Needed: Mindful Movement at the Desk opens hearts at Bob Mathis

Written by Awilda Rivera on . Posted in Community Supporters, Curriculum, Elementary School Yoga, Inspiration

Thank you Aquarius Magazine for publishing this article:http://media.wix.com/ugd/ee8f16_5f2a61db6b174e07a7f578a618dea9a8.pdf

Yoga is everywhere, and it seems like everyone is doing it. We see it in movies, on T.V. shows, in commercials, and in ads in magazines. Most of the images presented for mass consumption relating to yoga are generally comprised of white, women, in expensive tights and tank tops, on yoga mats.

In sharp contrast to what you may have seen on TV, at Bob Mathis Elementary school yoga is taught in the classroom at the desk without any yoga mats! Once a week every student in the school, including special education classes, receives 15- 20 minutes of yoga instruction in the classroom. You may wonder how effective this method is given the perceived lack of mobility and small space a public school classroom offers. However, it is remarkable what the students are able to accomplish in such a short period of time, in a limited environment.

I had the pleasure of observing the 4th and 5th grade rotation. Cheryl Crawford, founder of Atlanta Yoga Movement & Co-founder of Grounded Kids Yoga, led me from class to class as she implemented one of the Focus Series sequences in each class. At a school that is 96.1% African American, I wondered how a white woman with a singing bowl teaching yoga in the classroom might be received. Yet as soon as Cheryl entered the room, in each instance, the students perked up. The majority of students were excited to see her, their eyes twinkling with curiosity about what they might do with her today. Some of the teachers were equally excited for Yoga, making sure they put their work away so they could participate with their students.

None of the classes received the same instruction. Each class of students had unique needs, and as a result each class practiced a different sequence. The children were all completely open to the process, they knew exactly what to do. Each group immediately turned their chairs to face the front of the room, grounding through their feet and placing hands on their heart and belly. It was clear that the children not only enjoyed this practice but that they also needed it.

Cheryl led the children in short chair friendly sequences that got them to both sit and stand. Partner poses, Laughter poses, and even the occasional lunge were all fair play! At the end of the each 15 min. session, Cheryl asked the students if any of them would feel comfortable leading the instruction of a pose or breathing technique for their class and 75% of students answered in the affirmative.

The one commonality amongst all the classes was the gracious, open energy demonstrated by all the teachers and students at Bob Mathis. The level of grace and gratitude that was present in the room when engaged in their yoga practice was palpable. Through their open hearts and minds, the students at Bob Mathis have been able to experience the benefits of Yoga with No Mat Needed! The fundamental principals of Yoga transcend the limitations of a mat, studio or clothes. Yoga is truly about connecting with oneself in an authentic and accessible way that utilizes movement and breath. The method of Yoga being taught at Bob Mathis truly embodies the ideals of authenticity, accessibility, and mindful connectivity.

Two weeks from today at 7 PM you can watch a documentary about our yoga program at Bob Mathis Elementary on the AIB Network!

Resilience: Yoga’s Powerful Side Effect at Indian Creek Elementary

Written by Awilda Rivera on . Posted in Community Supporters, Elementary School Yoga, Inspiration

In a country divided, after a stunning presidential election result and a toxic campaign season, the children of Indian Creek Elementary School woke up afraid, angry and confused on November 10, 2017. Indian Creek Elementary School is comprised mostly of Immigrants, Children of Color, Muslims and Non-Christians. Notably most of these children are not typical immigrants, but rather refugees who came to America after fleeing war torn countries, human rights violations, and crumbling economies.

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Normally, my visits to Indian Creek are light, fun and learning oriented. However on 11/10/17 the children needed something different. The concern was heavy on their heart about their futures, potential bans on Muslims, and deportation.

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Thankfully Yoga is not just about getting on your mat and making shapes with your body. Yoga is about giving an individual a safe place to be with their emotions while they work through the things that are challenging for them. Through conscious dedication of our physical practice to a concept, thought, idea, person in need, or challenge one is facing an individual can utilize their Yoga practice to help them refresh their perspective, get clarity, be reminded of their strength and ability to persevere.

In order to get clear on what was bothering them, the children were given an opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions about the political process. One student asked, “Is it true that my family and I will have to leave this country soon?” Another student asked, “Is it possible to keep all Muslims out of the US, because I am Muslim. Will I have to leave?” Others expressed anger, confusion, sadness and overall fear of the unknown.

The beautiful truth about Yoga is that once one knows what is causing them suffering, one can utilize Yoga to transmute those feelings, gain new perspective, and tap into the unlimited strength we each possess deep within.

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The children at Indian Creek Elementary fearlessly opened up and shined a light on their darkest fears that morning. They dove into the process and needed a positive practice more then ever. On 11/10/17 the students learned about Resilience and focused their practice on that idea. Through employing poses like Washing Machine, Breath of Joy, Lunge Twists and powerful visualizations exercises like The Loving Kindness Meditation helped the students release some of their heaviness. I witnessed them move from fear to hope. The same students who had come in crest fallen, depressed and worried were now optimistic and solution oriented. They were ready to take Action. They were uplifted, smiling, and left happier then they had arrived. Yoga had reminded these children that they may be down, but they will never be out as long as they remember the power they have within. #YogafortheWin

Meet Katarina/Determined and Daring

Written by Hannah Rose Broom on . Posted in Curriculum, High School Yoga, Inspiration, Student Feedback

– Katarina –

Standing Grounded, Focused, and in her Power

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Through her I am the Face of Beauty Profile Page, we catch a glimpse of Katarina’s lightheartednessIMG_1225

 

Her visual creativity allows her shine in many other aspects of her lifeIMG_1227

The acute awareness she possess of her body makes learning movement a joyIMG_1226

 The way Katarina listens to her peers and inuits their needs makes her a wonderful friendIMG_1228

Meet Cat | Blunt + Caring

Written by Hannah Rose Broom on . Posted in Inspiration

~Meet Cat~

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Towards the end of each semester, the students complete a course called, I am the Face of Beauty. It’s aim is to help students discover the genesis of what makes them uniquely beautiful. From the core to the outermost layer, I am the Face of Beauty celebrates each student’s core values, intelligence, characteristics, and physicality; helping them better identify the many beautiful parts that make up their whole beautiful being.

These revelations are consolidated into a single Profile Page.

Cat’s I Am the Face of Beauty Profile Page

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The characteristics of her intrapersonal intelligence

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The qualities that make her musically inclined

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The Traits that make Cat a wordsmith

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Poised for Friendliness at Bob Mathis Elementary~

Written by Cheryl Crawford on . Posted in Elementary School Yoga, Inspiration

IMG_1125Here’s to Principal Blackwell for inviting yoga to her faculty meeting~

Because our task is to shine light into the darkness
Release the darkness of our own hesitations…

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Release the idea that we don’t have the right..
Then ride the winds of this new authority into our mastery..
Here’s to the authority to bring on the light

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– Let’s be steady in our service and take care of ourselves first. This allows us to be more effective in service to all..

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Our heart teaches us to exert when we are giving and relax in order to receive- many of us operate in the reverse of this- 😉What if we Softened to experience the sensation of receiving…

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Breath work helps us ground into the present moment-
And gives us freedom from sticky rigid internal battles.. So we can feel at home..
When we feel welcome in our own home body, others feel welcome in our presence..
We breathe, one nostril at a time..

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Every moment we get to choose to be kind or unkind to ourselves… What will help to have the strength and stamina to be kind when it’s hard?

Extend arms up overhead~Inhale, imagine pulling a 200 pound weight in toward heart, exhale up again,inhale and pull heavier weight in toward belly, exhale up again,inhale and pull even heavier weight in toward forehead…

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Whether it’s applause, blame, love, indifference, sympathy, laughter, anger or passion… the more we give, the more we will receive.

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Let’s go for lots and lots of increasing our kindness muscle~
Combining purpose with a practice of conscious breathing… Controlling our breath, dedicating our moments to the movement of our inspirations… The more we purposely focus on being friendly to ourselves, the more we are poised for friendliness, the more LOVE we can receive, the more LOVE we can give…

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Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us~
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” Let’s EXPERIENCE what we want to BELIEVE- physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically ~
Place one hand on heart, one hand on belly so we can project that LOVE out… Breathe in , think LOVE 7 times, pause think LOVE 7 times breathe out think PEACE 7 times
for 7 breaths- 💚💚💚

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Sat Nam Bob Mathis, Sat Nam

May All Love Surround You~ And the pure light within you guide your way on~
See you this fall…

Help expand our program by making a donation. A $50 donation can help us teach up to 100 students yoga at a time.

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