• Holiday Gifts for Little Yogis

    My Top 10 - Holiday Little Yogi Gifts

    The most important gift for any child is your attention and presence.  But if you happen to be looking for a gift for the special yogi or yogini in your life then below is a list of just a few or our favorite yoga gifts for kids.  We included the illustration, the link, a brief description and an idea for you to use it and connect with your little ones.



    Wisdom Within Book by Allison Morgan

    This is a cute story to read with your kids(s). It's fun to read the book offers great pictures. Who doesn't want to re-discover their wisdom within. This helps in discussing emotions and feelings and better ways to live.  At the end of the story, there are child-friendly, illustrated yoga poses and mindful meditations relating to the elements of nature contained in the story. Parents, Teachers or Caregivers are provided with an easy to use guide to introduce movement, breath and meditation to their child in a fun, creative and interactive way. A book for all ages. Snuggle up and read tothether or make this into a fun movement game to burn through some energy!

     

     The Little Yoga Mat

    The Little Yoga Mat is thicker than most children's mats. The cushion-y texture provides a comfortable pad for play.  The mat is perfect for yoga, but also great as a play mat, sleeping pad or surface for an outdoor picnic. The Little Yoga Mat is biodegradable, recyclable and hypoallergenic. It is BPA, latex, PVC, formamide and lead-free.  The mats are lightweight with a non-slip grip and clean easily with soap and water.  The yoga inspired designs are printed with eco-friendly ink. 

    Get on your kids level and explore things through their eyes.  Do some yoga poses, read a book, cuddle together or pretend you are a bunch of tacos!

     

    Timer/Focus Toy  

    Watch as gravity works on the colored drops within this hand held Liquid Motion device. Once the colorful drops have reached the bottom, turn it over and re-start the action. Each bubbler contains two colors inside. Yours will be selected from the company's in-stock supply. If you order more than one they will select a variety of colors. Colors available: Blue and Purple. Blue and Green.  

    We use these in so many ways with our kids at home.  For use in a hide and seek game, brushing our teeth, as a sharing tool to tell a favorite story that, or just to look quietly at as we get nice and still after a long day.

     

    Concentration Toys

    Includes:  * One Tangle Jr. Original; * One Tangle Jr. Metallic; * One Tangle Jr. Textured; * One Tangle Jr. Fuzzy; * and One Tangle Relax! The multicolored pieces snap together and swivel in all kinds of ways to satisfy the need to fidget and be creative. 

    Perhaps lay on your yoga mat with your kiddo and see who can be as quiet as a mouse as you fiddle your way through the puzzles.  Or make a date with your child and get creative!  Turn the lights out and use flashlights, put on some music and concentrate on your toy! 

     

    Memo Yoga Game

    Memo Yoga is a fun, engaging and active game that introduces children to yoga while building their concentration, coordination and memory skills. The game includes thirty-six, sturdy, full color, illustrated cards that feature eighteen different yoga poses. Memo offers physical, social and intellectual benefits for players of all ages. The game helps provides opportunities for social interaction and builds positive self-esteem & confidence.  Spread out your yoga mats and get playing!

     

      Eye Pillow

    This herbal eye pillow is filled with rice and organic dried lavender. The pillow is intended for meditation, relaxation and destressing for you or your little one. The weight of the rice applies gentle pressure to the eyes and the subtle lavender scent is uplifting. Can also be used for herbal therapy as a hot or cold compress. Heat in the microwave or under a hot water bottle, or chill in the freezer. Soothing for headaches, sore throat, belly aches and other ailments.  (The woman who makes these has a great variety of material and patterns great for boys and girls).  

    There is nothing better then finding a reason to get quiet and become still.  See how peaceful you and your little one can be while you help each other place an eye pillow on the other and practice a little care-giving.  Add a blanket to the mix and who knows maybe a nap could be next!

     

    Kids Yoga Pillows

    The links are for a Zabuton & the Zafu - Dharma kids sells these as a set with the zafu (which is the seat portion) or you are able to also just purchase the zafu alone.  These are wonderful for your kids to sit while reading, being quiet, meditating, napping, or even playing a game with the family. 

    Explore a comfortable seat with a better posture, perhaps create a routine for your kids so they may find a set time in their days to sit quietly.  We use these to sit around the fireplace and play games on and we've even been known to have a pillow fight or two!  

     

    Kids Mala

    Yoga and meditation practice for children is great for calming the mind and releasing stress. This exclusive mala features light wood beads perfect for smaller hands, cool black spacers, and totally awesome turquoise blue Malaysia Jade. Mala beads are beautifully finished with a Rudraksha guru bead and lime green tassel.

    This can be such a special practice.  Use the mala to check in with your child to see how you and he or she are feeling.  Then choose a word that best would fit and touch each bead as you say, "I", "Am", "So", "Kind" or whatever word that you both choose.  Talk together afterward to see how you both feel.  

     

    Hoberman Sphere

    The hoberman sphere is a timeless tool.  You can throw, bounce, spin, roll, grow and shrink the sphere.  Share in the fascination of this dynamic structure which expands and contracts in a second to create a sphere scaled to almost any size. This is just a smaller version of similar spheres on display in science museums all over the world.

    Play catch one on one with your child.  Sit together with your kids as your explore your breath by inhaling as you open the sphere and exhaling as you close. The options are endless!  

     

    Make Your Own Focus Jar Kit

    Get creative!  Find a basket that would be appropriate for the little yogi in your life and fill it with the items to make your own Focus Jar: Clear Containers with lids, Glitter, Water and anything more you would like to add (like stickers for your jar, or glitter glue, etc).

    You can make these in so many ways that this craft never gets old.  Perfect to do on an 'indoor' day and its truly great for almost any age.

    Click Here - 4 Easy Steps to Make Your Own Focus Jar!

     

    No matter what you give your child, the bottom line will always be the time that you share with them.  It could be any present big or small or none at all ... The greatest gift is offering your attention and showing them how much you love spending time with them!

    Sending out peace, good health, lots of love and so much joy to everyone over the holidays and with our coming new year.  

    Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

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  • Cultivating JOY While You Teach

    As we embark on the holiday season, I am realizing more and more that joy is an essential quality of life that needs to be present when I teach. Oftentimes, joy gets knocked down the totem pole of qualities of teaching, in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms, and many people think feeling joy simply means having fun.  Please note that when I talk about joy I don’t necessarily mean fun or silliness, although these can help create joy.  


    By the word joy, I mean the feeling of your whole being saying Yes! By joy, I mean feeling alive, open, and relaxed.  It takes a lot of self-assurance to allow yourself to feel joy.  Joy connects us to our bliss and can be both deeply empowering and grounding.  


    In Maps to Ecstasy, ecstatic dancer Gabrielle Roth writes, “Joy is the expansive energy of dynamic well-being.  It uplifts, energizes, makes our eyes shine, gives a lift to our step, light to our whole being. It comes when our emotional energy flows freely…”  

    It is important in our teaching practice to take a step back and reflect on how much joy you are allowing yourself to feel in your teaching.  How do you experience joy?   Joy can be incredibly grounding for our students and it can also help our students to feel safe.  

    Below are some tips to cultivate more joy in your teaching practice.  

    1. Embrace creativity.  Where in your life are you being creative?  Once you get that creative flow moving, a force that comes from deep within, a feeling of joy will follow.  One aspect where I let my creativity shine is in how I teach my lessons.  Although I follow a curriculum, I have my own take on it.  I sit down and think about what this lesson means to me and how I can transmit that important message to my students in my own individual way.  When I connect what I am teaching to my heart and my own creative self-expression, joy follows for me and for my students.   Commit acts of creative self-expression daily, both when teaching and outside of the classroom.  
    2. Be present for your students.  No matter what, always show up to your class with a beginners’ mind and let your expectations go. The more open you are, the easier it is to allow the flow of emotions to happen.  Sometimes, when I teach a lesson that goes really well, I’ll treat it as the perfect lesson, and try to teach the same exact lesson to the next class.  When I do this, the next class usually does not respond the same way. There is less fun and excitement overall.  It feels static and unauthentic.   It took me some time to realize that a great lesson doesn’t always work the same wonders on a different set of students.  I have to practice coming into each class with a fresh perspective, and be completely open to what the students present to me that day.  I find that when I base my lesson  on how the kids are responding to me rather than a well-laid out plan that worked for the previous class,  the class feels much more powerful and joyful for both me and the students.  
    3. Practice free movement in class.  Even if it is just a short 30 second arm wiggle while students sit at their desks, free movement can be incredibly grounding experience, and it opens the doors to full freedom of self-expression.  Joy manifests when the full self is being expressed.   I try to include free movement, whether it is a wiggle game or some sort of free dance, in all of my classes, and I participate fully in it myself.  
    4. Allow room for other emotions to be felt, by both you and your students.  I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to fully experience joy, I also had to fully experience sadness and anger and other emotions that don’t feel very good.  It is impossible to really know and experience true joy if you are inhibiting the full expression of the emotional self.  If you only allow yourself  to feel part of your sadness or anger, you will only feel part of your joy.  This applies to you, and this also applies to your students.  Practicing compassion towards your students and their range of emotions allows them to be fully present and provides them the opportunity to experience real joy in the classroom.   

    Remember that you deserve to experience joy in your life on a daily basis.  Bringing joy to your students can be one of the most important parts of the work that we do as teachers.  

    Model this for your students, and classes will begin to take on a whole new life.  
     

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Holiday Gifts for Little Yogis
My Top 10 - Holiday Little Yogi Gifts The most important gift for any child is your

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Little Flower Yoga is based in New York and provides classes in all five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County.

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Email: info@littlefloweryoga.com