Archives for April 2015

Tree Meditation

Today we’re going to imagine that we are trees in a forest. The classroom can be the forest, and all of the students can be the trees. Imagine the type of tree that you want to be, and then begin to find your roots in the floor while standing up tall. Imagine that you are becoming really stable, starting from your feet, just like the roots of a tree connecting you down to the earth.

2821743539_0048f36901_o-1As you close your eyes, imagine that you are growing taller and stronger, up into the sky. Move your attention from your feet, up through your legs and into your arms. Notice how your body is feeling along the way. Once your get up to your arms, imagine your they are like branches spreading wide as you grow taller, connecting you to the other trees in the forest. This part of the trees is called the canopy. It is the part where all the branches connect and animals can make homes in. Beautiful things can grow in the canopy when the trees in the forest are all connected. Imagine the animals that might live in your forest canopy. Maybe you have some butterflies on your branches, or baby birds. Maybe you even have little caterpillars on your leaves. What do you want to live in your canopy?

Begin to leave the canopy by traveling up your trunk, moving your attention up out of your arms and to the top of your head. Travel all the way up to the very top of your tree, beyond any branches. Take a moment here to see whatever you would like to see. What does your forest look like? Is it tropical, or in the mountains? Is it sunny outside? Are you somewhere familiar? You can imagine anything that you want to see.

Teachers and students: You can use this tree meditation to become grounded and change your perspective whenever you would like to alter the way that you are feeling.

Warm Heart Meditation

Find a nice, comfortable seat on the floor or in your chair. Begin by placing your hands face down on your legs and making your spine really tall. Reach up for the ceiling with the crown of your head. When you inhale, lift your shoulders up high by your ears, and when you exhale, let them roll down your back. Do this two more times- taking a really big breath in, and opening the mouth to let the breatheart-642068_640h out.

Now bring one hand onto your heart, and place your other hand on top of it. If you are comfortable closing your eyes, close your eyes. This allows us to turn our attention inside the body, instead of worrying about things going on outside.

Begin to breathe in and out of your nose now. See if you can breathe into your hands, expanding your heart. Imagine that each breath in is filling up your heart with a beautiful, warm light, and each breath out is sending that light to those around you. With each cycle of breath, imagine the light of your heart getting bigger and bigger. Eventually, you can imagine that your whole body is glowing with the light that is coming from your heart. You might even start to feel warm and cozy because of this light. Notice if any other feelings have come up.

Notice how big your light has become, and see if your breath can make it so big that it takes up the whole room. Now you can share with everyone around you.

If you can, think of someone who you’d like to share some warm heart light with. Maybe it is a friend or a parent; maybe it is someone that you would like to be friends with, or someone whose day you’d like to make better.

Imagine your warm light spreading to that person and making their heart warm and light too. This practice is called compassion. When we want to help someone but aren’t sure how, we can practice this warm heart meditation and send some light their way to make their heart warm too. Sometimes we need to give back to our own hearts, so this is also a good practice for your own heart.

Students: If you, or a friend, are having a bad day, you can practice this meditation to feel warm and cozy.

Teachers: This can be a wonderful practice if students are having a hard time with compassion, such as: sharing, connecting with others, and connecting with their emotions.

Mountain Pose

Stand up nice and tall with your feet pointing straight ahead. Try bringing your feet together, with your big toes touching, and notice how that feels in your body. Do you feel strong and tall here? Now try bringing your feet as wide as your hips, and notice how that feels. Choose the foot position that feels most comfoK2,_Mount_Godwin_Austen,_Chogori,_Savage_Mountainrtable in your body. Our goal is to feel like strong mountains while we stand here, so that no gust of wind could blow us over.

Let’s begin to notice our toes. Lift your toes up and wiggle them around. It may feel a little funny, but notice what happens to your balance as you wiggle your toes. Try to keep your balance in the center of your feet like the base of a mountain. From here, spread your toes as wide as you can and oh so gently place them down, one by one on the ground- keeping them spread out. Do you feel more balanced here? We are building our mountains from the ground all the way up to our heads, so we should have really strong feet to hold us up! Once we have strong feet, we can make our legs strong too.

Next, we’ll move up to our arms. Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing forward. Just notice how they feel here. Do your arms feel heavy? Do they feel light? Begin to imagine that you are moving energy all the way up from your feet, down through your arms, and into your fingertips. Wiggle your fingertips and see how that feels before moving on to make your arms strong just like your legs.

Now we will bring our attention all the way up to the very top of our heads. Notice the very top of your head lift up as you inhale and hold yourself up tall as you exhale. We have arrived in our mountain pose.

As you breathe in, feel air filling up your arms, all the way down to your fingertips, and your legs, all the way down to your toes. As you breathe out, feel yourself becoming more and more stable in your mountain pose. Each breath making you stronger.

Students: You can use mountain pose any time that you want to feel strong like a mountain.

Teachers: You can instruct this exercise to bring the energy of the class down, as it is grounding.