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I always end my kids’ yoga classes with my song, Namaste, and the lyrics “Namaste, thank you for today! Namaste, glad you came to play!” It’s funny because I constantly hear myself jokingly apologizing to parents for my silly kids’ songs that get stuck in their heads, but for November I have no shame…I think this song is so fitting!
How do we shift our busy mind set and be thankful and be able to look at each other with eyes of gratitude? “You are special, I am special…Namaste, thank you for today.” For me these moments happen when I am able to slow down; in the wee morning hours before the sun rises when I’m cuddling with my babes, during the pause in my day when I lay down and breastfeed my 3-month-old, or at night when we all reflect on our favorite part of the day.
In my work I’m constantly trying to facilitate those bonding moments between parents and kids. To be honest, these moments are what I lacked growing up. I’ve learned that these are the moments that will not only shape our children but truly help us as parents to grow into the best versions of ourselves. If we are able to step back and be a witness, then we will see that these little ones are truly our little Gurus, constantly teaching us potent lessons and giving us so much love.
But how do we slow down into a mindful space and have these sweet moments of gratitude, when we enter into a month like November? I don’t know about you, but I deeply feel the collective bustling energy of the world being FULL. Full minds planning and organizing family gatherings (or how to get out of them) and wanting to be physically full as we plan for food and hopefully full bellies. Along with this collective bustle, we have the full moon lunar eclipse that is happening Friday, November 19th. Sensei Christopher Witecki says “the energy (of the full moon) cuts the old timeline away from reality leaving spaces for a new spiritual timeline.”
SO, are we ready for it all? I personally would love to make this FULL shift with grace but now and here is where I’m harvesting gratitude with yoga and mindfulness exercises.
Put one hand to your heart and hand on your belly and breathe. I know it can be hard to find the time but this can be done in your car right before school pick up, or in the bathroom if it’s the only moment you get alone, or right before you go to bed. As you breathe, focus on not only lifting your heart but bringing the breath all the way down to the belly. Inhale something you are thankful for and exhale the stress. Try this 5 times. If I can do this, so can you!
Now is the perfect time to learn the meaning of Namaste and the Prayer Mudra (Anjali Mudra in Sanskrit). The easy way is by teaching your kids to bring their hands together at their heart and then listen, sing, and discuss the “Namaste” Song on the Wee Yogis Play Album. The simple words remind us that we all have a light which is our inner teacher that guides us and makes us special. Our light and love connect us in this space of being thankful!
What happened in your day that you are grateful for? Asking this question before your little one(s) is falling asleep can completely change their attitude about the day and month. This is a simple exercise that can rewire our brains to focus on the positive.
As I’m constantly searching for new spaces that are supporting families with yoga and mindfulness, I was super sad to hear that Shannon, owner of Pomegranate Yoga, is no longer offering programming. Even with her farewell she helped ignite a new community to grow. I would love to give a big hello and welcome to the Yoga Mama Co-op. They are offering monthly yoga pods for prenatal, new moms and moms. You can learn more at yogamamacoop.com. Stay tuned for monthly family yoga and mindfulness offerings here!
Jocelyn Kay Levy is a mama, musician, yogi and social innovator. She has been performing music and leading yoga and barre fitness workshops for over 15 years. Jocelyn is the founder of Wee Yogis Organization whose mission is to bring yoga and mindfulness to children through music, videos, podcasts, and teacher training. Wee Yogis is also the kids yoga program for Ram Dass’ Nonprofit Love serve remember. Learn more at weeyogis.com