While planning my kids yoga classes for the daycare’s theme “Earth Day” I set to work looking for a book or some kind of visual for supporting material.
First I remembered a children’s book I bought a while ago but never used called, 100 Facts – Saving the Earth by Miles Kelly. Great, a lesson plan ready to go!
But when I flipped to the first page, there sat a message of doom and gloom: the earth in danger, the planet a mess, temperatures rising, extinction probable!
I quickly closed the book as if trying to put Pandora back into her box. The idea of the end of human existence simply wouldn’t do as a theme for Earth Day. I needed plan B – to share the message of hope and mindfulness about our big blue planet.
Now I’m curious if this negativity pervades kids attitudes about the Earth.
Getting to Know the Mind in Kids Yoga Class
The negative mind, as it’s called in Kundalini Yoga, is akin to the part of the mind that sees danger and helps you avoid getting into trouble. The negative mind is the first and fastest function of the minds, so it’s no surprise we are bombarded by information that feeds into our fears and insecurities. Marketing all around us tries to connect to that negative mind to get your attention.
The solution to counteract this way of thinking is to use the Positive Mind to cut through the negative. Then the Neutral Mind can weigh the negative and positive to make a decision.
In the Yoga Sutras it is called Pratipaksa Bhavana.
“34. When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones
should be thought of. This is pratipaksa bhavana.”
Book 2.34, The Sutras of Patanjali, Translation and Commentary
by Sri Swami Satchidananda p. 120 -122
Use Your Curiosity to Teach Children about Mindfulness and the Mind
I’m curious about the level of negativity children experience when they think about the Earth. I’m going to start my kids classes by asking them what Earth Day means to them. I wonder if it will be negative or positive? The rest of the yoga class will flow from their answers.
We may become Earth Warriors to cut through the negative and find a positive.
Or maybe we’ll do yoga poses for all the earthly elements and animals that are happily named.
Whichever way it goes, we will to finish with hope and gratitude for all the Earth provides for the plants and animals on the planet (including humans). We can practice Pratipaksa Bhavana to combat the negative thoughts. Then Earth Day will be a reason to celebrate the hope the planet offers.
Earth Day is April 22
And if you’re looking for some Earth Day activity ideas for your kids yoga classes, you check out the links below.
Download both printable Earth Day colouring pages here:
More Earth Day Activities for your Kids Yoga Classes:
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