This week we explored the colour Orange in our Mindful Minis classes. And orange in the animal world can only mean one thing… the magnificent tiger! We started off the class with some tiger breathing exercises. A great way to breathe deeply and exhale our lungs completely. The tiger sound effects from the kids were fantastic!
We also explored some tiger yoga poses. The kids had great fun balancing in these poses. We had some wonderful mindfulness moments working with our bodies to explore our limits. The kids especially liked the crouching tiger pose – ready to pounce on the next rabbit that hopped past.
I then played some wonderful rain forest sounds (check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8myYyMg1fFE) while guiding the children in a visualisation. Today we used the two brand-new Mindful Minis weighted blankets in the class, custom made for us by www.facebook.com/WeightedBlanketsSouthAfrica (thanks Adele!). The children ABSOLUTELY loved the blankets. They allowed the kids to relax completely and let go and find stillness. It was completely remarkable how still the children with the weighted blankets lay during the visualisation. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough at the moment for each child to have a weighted blanket but as Mindful Minis grows, I will be sure to order more. They really were great!
For the visualisation, I asked the children to imagine being in a dense rain forest in India. I encouraged them to notice all the lush, thick vegetation around them and to take note of the feel of the leaves on their skin as they walked through the dense jungle. I asked them to stop and listen to the sounds they could hear. The sounds of distant thunder. The sounds of birds calling to each other. The sound of water from a nearby waterfall. I then suggested that they imagine a river with a big, open clearing on the other side. And in the clearing, they see a huge, magnificent tiger with big black and orange stripes.
I suggested to them that this was a friendly tiger with a special message for them. The tiger then swam across the river to meet them. I asked them to notice what the tiger’s fur felt like as they reached out to stroke it. I then suggested that the tiger had a very special gift of bravery to give them. I asked them all to give the tiger a huge hug and in doing so, the gift of bravery was placed into their hearts by the tiger. I asked them to notice how they felt now that they had the special gift of bravery in their hearts. And then it was time to say goodbye to the tiger and end the meditation.
After saying our Mindful Minis mantras, the kids did some artwork. The colour Orange represents creativity so there was a variety of mediums for the children to explore their creative side. They had orange lentils, orange leaves, orange-coloured noodles as well as orange and black paint and the usual pastels and khokis to work with. The results were astonishing! Really, really fantastic stuff. Budding little artists.
We explored what it means to be creative and how being creative can help us. I explained to the kids that sometimes feelings and emotions can feel like they are stuck in our bodies and we don’t know how to express them. I explained that often a creative form of expression can help. We spoke about drawing, painting, building things (out of recycled materials), singing, making up new songs and even making music. We looked at what creative things each child felt they were good at and what creative things they can explore if they are feeling overwhelmed by emotion.
All the classes I guided today had a very happy, positive energy about them. And I think the Orange colour definitely brought out the creative side of each child.