Last week I expressed my surprise to find opposition to teaching yoga to children. Many of you offered helpful insight, both in comments and privately. The more I let my feelings settle, the more I realized it wasn’t such a big deal to just rename yoga in my classroom. My decision?
Yoga will be called “Be Ready to Learn,” or possibly BRL for short.
I know it probably sounds like a mouthful, but that’s because it’s meant to be a chant that gains speed and volume as we go:
Be. (Make the letter B with hands)
Ready. (Thumbs up)
To Learn. (Make an open book with hands)
This will be accompanied by a poster that gives the steps to be ready to learn:
1. Breathe: Count breaths to quiet outside thoughts.
2. Stretch: Get blood flowing to your brain.
3. Focus: Sit-up straight, show STAR, ask questions.
I’m excited to develop an actual thought-out plan to help student Be Ready to Learn through movement and breathing exercises this year.
And, last but not least, my VLOG. I had to fight the temptation to put on make-up and film another take (or delete altogether). Instead, spontaneous and natural, just as I would like my kids to be. It’s funny how sometimes it really is hard to practice what you preach…
This is a great idea Olivia! I subbed in a class once where the teacher started the day with stretches and I believe it ended with some sort of learning chant at the end. Never would I have associated it with yoga but the thought of having the children have a routine that both focuses them for the day and is kinistetic is a great idea! I personally know that I have a more focused day when I start it by doing something physical or working out. There is definitely something to that!
That makes me happy that the stretching you did wasn’t connected to yoga– I’m hoping to create something similar without upsetting anyone. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Hey Oliva, great idea!!! About two years ago, I went to a mindfulness in education workshop, and one of the speakers, I forgot her name, I think she is from northern California, in fact all the speakers were from there, Susan Kaiser Greenland, she wrote a lot of books about mindfulness, something like that, and she shared this little poem about breathing and doing breathing activities with kids, and it ends with “now we’re ready to learn”; I do something simliar with my preschoolers, we exercise — three exercises suggested by our OT — one of which involves a forward bend and we breath, and then say now we’re ready to learn.
Cool, I will have to look into Susan Kaiser Greenland’s writing š I love that you already do something similar. I definitely want to incorporate movement with forward bends as well, I need to do some more research to put it all together! Thanks, as always, for your inspiration.
You should do more of these. You have real presence.,
Thanks. Have to get over how silly it feels first. š
Years ago, after my first was born, I suggested to my family that we should take some time to write down the memories and stories we had of our past. Including stories about relatives who were no longer with us. The relative I thought this most applicable to was my grandmother who had these great stories about the old country that she always told us when we were young. She died a couple of years before my oldest was born and I thought it would be a shame to lose those stories, as well as others that come and go over the years. Well, my mom wrote down a few things and gave them to me, and nobody else did anything. Until one day, my parents showed up at our house because they wanted to give me something — my father had spent the previous year, in response to my request, writing his life story. I read it that night — about 130, single-spaced pages — and wept because this man who rarely spoke and most certainly never spoke of his past had given me the greatest gift I could have imagined. You’re probably asking what the relevance is to this post. It’s this.
In the introduction to the story, meant only for his wife and his kids to ever see, he talked about how it came to be. He called out each of his children and then wrote about how it was inspired by my suggestion. He wrote there that I was thoughtful. Not necessarily that I was thoughtful in terms of being considerate of others, which he acknowledged that I was also, but that I was thoughtful in the sense of “being full of thoughts.”
After all your posts I’ve read, all the many comment threads we’ve had, and the burgeoning dialogue we are having about so many other things, I hope you won’t mind if I anoint you with the same description. You are thoughtful in both ways and I consider it to be one of the most important human traits a person can have.
This post is a perfect example because it shows that you never stop thinking. About yourself. About your kids. About life. About how to be better. About solutions and answers. About so many things. Stay thoughtful, my sister.
Yes, I certainly do think an awful lot š I like that though, so I gladly accept the title and also enjoyed reading the background to how you came to be called thoughtful. What a wonderful gift your father gave you. I wish we could have a little book like that for all the people we love in life. My grandmother did something similar for me before I got married. I learned so much I never knew about her and also found similarities in our lives I never expected.
Thanks again for the food for thought.
Most of all I feel sorry that you, who are simply trying to do ma good and nice thing with your kids are having your life and approach made so complicated by the nervy concerns of their parents. You are clearly a sensible women and committed teacher and the parents should know that
Thanks, life and people are funny. I’m grateful I can still find ways around their concerns. š
What a fantastic way to lay it out there! It sucks that you have to get so creative just to help students focus and improve their overall wellbeing. š¦
Agreed, but such is life š I’m just glad I can still do it at all…
OK-just now watched this-I’m sorry, but I just have to say how adorable you are! And I think your idea about renaming Yoga is pretty cool, too! D
Thanks Dani, I felt a little silly, but I’m excited for students to link words with movement š
BRL<–I did it with you. What a great exciting idea. Looking forward to seeing how it goes…
You’re my new favorite friend. I don’t think anyone else tried it with me š
[…] is exciting news for me as I figure out how to integrate yoga into my classroom. I still plan to call it something else, but at least there is some backing for the idea that it can be taught in a secular […]