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In trying to come up with meaningful lessons that kids can take off their mats and into their lives, I recently bought a great book called 10 Minute Life Lessons for Kids. The lessons are divided into categories such as Things We Value, Potential and Self-Worth, Love and Kindness and Attitude to name a few. When applying ideas from other sources into my class, I always try to find a yoga slant.
I decided to give my students a lesson on attitude. I strongly believe that what we think about and what we say influences our perspective and the outcome of different situations. This idea was not one that I was taught as a child but really would have helped me growing up.
I first made sure that none of the children had food allergies. I gave each student a Smartie (I chose this type of candy because it dissolves slowly but quickly enough to move onto other things in class when we finished this lesson). The kids were not allowed to eat it until I gave them the go ahead. We all then got into chair pose or a standing squat with backs against the wall. The idea behind this exercise was that while our legs started to burn from our position, we were to suck on the candy and try to keep our thoughts on the sweetness versus the pain.
There will always be difficulties in life but by training ourselves to focus on the sweetness in life even when things are hard we will create a more fulfilling and happier life in the long run.
My son just returned from an amazing summer experience with Adventure Treks. The camp prides itself on its culture of community and being a place where kids can be in the great outdoors, challenge themselves, have fun and be their best selves. According to director John Dockendorf, although many Adventure Treks trips take place across the country, each group learns similar messages:
That you can accomplish more with the unconditional support of your friends.
That doing more than your share is a good thing.
That happiness comes from being part of something bigger than oneself.
That effort and reward are related.
That you can accomplish more than you think.
That you can have the time of your life without a computer, a cell phone, a video game or facebook.
And that good friends are a lot more important than stuff.
My son came home with new friends, new insights about himself, greater self-confidence and a different perspective about his world and his life’s potential.
It is so easy to think that the young have all the fun, that as adults we have already had our wild and carefree moments. I recently read Jim Rohn’s quote,“The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them”. It made me think about how as we get older, it is so important to continue to set goals, to be challenged and to step into the fear of the unknown. That it is during those moments when we grow and feel alive. It is not just time for our kids to have these experiences. It is what makes life fun and joyous and full. Everyone deserves to be their best selves and live life to its fullest.
So what adventure are you going on? Take on your fears and live a little.