Yoga is the common thread in my life. It shows up everywhere beginning with the affirmation scrawled on my round, wood-trimmed mirror and ends in the evening when I tear off the day’s page of the “I Can Do It” calendar by Louise Hay.
In between, yoga is my gift to my kindergarten students, who are learning to breathe slowly and deeply when they need to calm their bodies and reset their minds. Yoga has taught me to move with flexibility and more slowly than I used to move in order to take the day in, to notice the lupines and the succulents blooming. Yoga is the practice of moving towards simplicity, removing the objects with unneeded energy from drawers and cabinets and to make room for possibilities.
Last week, struggling to think of a nice yoga practice for 27 energetic kindergarten students during our regular Thursday yoga time, I brought out the book, It Looked Like Spilled Milk, a picture book about a cloud taking on various shapes. I read it slowly, deliberately, playing with the repetitive line: “but it wasn’t spilt milk!” I told the class it was about taking the time to imagine what shape your cloud would be if it were your favorite shape. We took the time to take turns sharing what our favorite cloud would look like. Mine was an ice cream cone of course!
The energy of the class stabilized and calmed and we ended our day on a positive note with thoughts of fluffy white kittens, castles, puppies and unicorns. Today a group of girls asked if they could read the “yoga book.” At first I didn’t know which book they were talking about, but when they held up It Looked Like Spilt Milk.” Yoga.
Yoga waits for me on Tuesday nights, candle lit, infused with music that I always love. and challenges that stretch more than hamstrings. Breathing slowly and reset for another week.