Gentle Warriors for the Environment

At our September Chesnut Changers after-school meeting, we celebrated our commitment to the environment by practicing yoga in the garden. We started by discussing, “what is yoga?” The students gave a variety of answers, like “chanting,” “meditating,” “stretching,” and “gymnastics.”

Sturdy Trees need a strong foundation to grow and bloom

One fourth grader said, “yoga is how adults trick you into exercising” —  which I loved. I told the students that there is no trick here, we ARE going to exercise! Then we began by acknowledging our breath. We discussed how our breath can help us in stressful, difficult or new situations.

Our first pose was Lotus Breath, where we made a lotus with our hands and grew our flower up to the sun. Another pose was Dark Seed Light (or Child’s pose). We bent over and became a seed. When our face is down, everything is dark. When we round our back we can see the light peeking through. We learned a short Sun Salutation and Wake Up Mountain pose. We then practiced Warrior 1 Up and talked about what it means to be a gentle warrior for the environment. We ended our practice with Tree pose, and discovered how to stay balanced by keeping our eyes on a fixed object (not easy to do in the garden, but challenges are good!) The students did an awesome job of growing their branches and swaying in the wind.

When we have balance in our life, we can spread our branches towards the light.

We ended our practice with a Namaste circle. We learned that “Namaste” means “the light in me, sees the light in you.” We said, “Namaste,” and passed around a glitter sky ball, which represents us sharing our light. I had an awesome time with all the students and look forward to our next class. We will have fun learning some Halloween-themed poses in the garden!

Namaste,

Jenny Bell

Scarecrows are taking a little savasana.

(Chesnut parent Jenny Bell, a certified Go Grounded Yoga Teacher, is the Chesnut Changers’ new Garden Yoga instructor)