Published: Friday, 01 May 2015 16:33
Here is a story from Liz, who teaches at a school for youth who are working through their life experience with trauma:
Five kids & two staff members were present for the class today, with one timid new boy participating from the doorway. I taught alone today. We each said our name and something we had seen when we were walking: rosemary, mallard ducks, stone turtles, a bird, a salamander, my bare feet, and a snake with a blue stripe. I used the rosemary as a point of focus and as an incentive for participation- each student was promised they could have some at the end of class. We all listened to the sound of a shaker toy while each participant got the chance to shake it, make sounds, and name a hidden object they located within the toy.
We started and ended our active practice with this exercise for focus & continuity. Fairly quickly I got them up & standing to help keep their focus & find their feet. We talked about the breath and a few students took turns leading us with the Hoberman’s Sphere. We focused on gentle active movements because it was important to keep the two very active boys from getting overly wound up/dysregulated. Because of this, no active games today. Some poses we did: Standing breath work with arm lifts/lowers & calf extensions, forward fold with opposite inner thigh presses, chair, squat, and table with opposite arm/leg lifts. Each of us went around and instructed a different balance pose. What kept the focus? Multiple reminders to listen and take turns talking one at a time, to keep one’s body & attention on own mat and returning many times to Mountain Pose to calm & center.
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