Last weekend I taught a Generation Strong class (girls grade 4-8th) at Shine in Batavia, IL. I focused the practice on the new moon and self-love. I began the class with having the girls color what they loved about themselves. I didn’t give them any other instruction other than, that they could express through symbols or words. I was nervous they were going to only concentrate on physical aspects of themselves, but they didn’t.
When I asked them to present their image to the group they seemed very shy to share. The girls didn’t even mention anything physical about themselves instead they talked about how they love their… sensitivity, compassion, ability to see things differently, creativity, hobbies (etc). With images of nature, bold words, and characters.
After coloring, we had a talking circle. It’s when we take the time to express anything that has been bothering us, releasing anything that we have been holding onto. By allowing our emotions to flow without fear, it gives us the chance to feel refreshed and relieved. The girls brought up issues with feeling stressed, upset about friendship struggles, and dealing with classes. I shared my advice with them and told them to start the new day with patience and kindness.
Once we finished the talking circle we started our new moon flow. The practice was centered around opening the hips and chest to new beginnings, while grounding our energies into the earth. With poses like child pose, wild thing, half moon, tree pose, and malasana. In corpse pose we used pillows and blankets to bring us a sense of comfort and security as we began the meditation.
New Moon Meditation by EcoFitYogi:
Close your eyes, melt onto you mat. You are sitting on a beach, your body is relaxed, molded into the warm sand. you find comfort in the rhythm of your breathing. With each inhale the waves retreat back into the sea and with each exhale the waves roll back to shore. Look up at velvet, inky sky. The stars are sprinkled across the darkness like echos of light. The new moon is a shadow, hidden, somewhere in the galaxy it illuminates. Breathe in the fresh, salty air. Hear the waves rise and fall like your belly, as the new moon blankets you blankets you in its silken embrace.
The girls rose from the mediation with sleepy eyes and soft voices. Slowly they rolled up their mats and collected their things. We stood for a moment looking at one another, I told them, “Tomorrow choose love and embrace new beginnings, Namaste.”