Exploring Wisdom: Shakta Khalsa on the Energy Between Us
Every thought, every feeling, every action has a particular frequency of energy or vibration. The American Heritage Dictionary defines vibration, in the sense that I am using it, as: A distinctive emotional aura or atmosphere regarded as being instinctively sensed or experienced.
Tuning into your emotional aura and energy
I like the description of vibration as an “emotional aura,” because I feel it accurately describes the tone of the frequency that we emanate at any moment. If I am sad, my emotional aura, or signal, is of the frequency of sadness. And if I am happy, the signal I emit is joy. Others who come into my energy field pick up on that signal either consciously or unconsciously and respond to it. The really good news is that we can learn to become mindful of our vibration and, with practice, consciously choose the vibration we want to feel.
This atmosphere of thinking, in terms of energy and vibration, is the new luminous space we are feeling for in our relationship to ourselves and, in turn, with our children.
The true impact of disengagement
Consider this scenario and the various energy vibrations it contains: Mom (or Dad) is driving with a 4-year-old who is sitting in their car seat in the back. They are driving down a highway when another car cuts them off, and Mom has to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. Mom begins to swear, then tries to calm down. The child notices the dramatic change in her parent’s energy. This child can tell that something upsetting has happened, so she asks, “What’s the matter, Mom?”
Now, Mom can either use this as a time to “protect” the child by saying, “Nothing, honey. Everything is fine.” Then Mom looks at the small child through the rearview mirror trying to smile, but it really doesn’t reach her eyes because she’s scared. The child, being intuitive and instinctive to feelings, knows that something is not fine.
So this one little incident becomes one of many little incidents for the child, and over time the child will begin to believe that either: (1) Adults do not tell the truth because what they say does not match with what I can feel, so they cannot always be trusted, or (2) Since adults are bigger and wiser and must be telling the truth, I must not be perceiving this correctly. This is how a child begins the path of mistrusting his or her own guidance.
Choosing presence and intention
Now, since every cloud has a proverbial silver lining, we can turn this same scenario around so that it becomes a gift. The same thing happens, but this time when the child says, “What’s the matter, Mom?” Mom says, “That car cut me off and I got scared we’d have an accident, so I got a little upset. But everything is okay now. I am calming myself down by taking some deep breaths; do you want to do it with me?” And she glances at her child with an encouraging smile. Now the child can relax and feel safe. She also gained three profound understandings:
- Things happen in life that I may get upset about.
- It is okay to admit that.
- There are tools, like breathing, that I can use to help myself feel better on the spot and recover my connection to my inner self.
Obviously Mom or Dad or Teacher would do well to practice centering techniques such as breathing or meditation at times when there is a lull in the action. Centering practices set the stage for positive experiences when life with children is presenting the threat of a storm, and can even help avoid a full-blown hurricane-level interaction.
Learning to remain centered for yourself and your child
In my yoga path, we always take a moment to center with the breath or sound before starting a project. It is a great habit to get into, even for small things such as answering the phone mindfully, getting ready to drive the car, or having a conversation with your child. The centering makes all the difference in the interaction. In my Montessori training, we were told to get on the level of the child and look into their eyes with an open, supportive attitude. I think of it as answering an invitation into their world.
More and more parents and teachers are practicing the “highest yoga” by relating to children with an attitude of wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. Life becomes so interesting, and yes, even extraordinary—once we start the inner journey toward being who we actually are, our authentic selves. It’s at this place that we sense what truly exists and find ways to deal with what life brings us in a more graceful, connected manner.
Do you feel called to share the joy of yoga with children? Join Shakta for her Radiant Child Yoga Training at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 7th-11th, 2018, and contribute to the building of a more peaceful world.
This article is excerpted from The Yoga Way to Radiance by Shakta Khalsa. © 2016. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd and reposted with permission from the author.
Shakta Khalsa, ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, is a leading expert on children and yoga.. She is a parent, Montessori educator, and a yoga professional recognized by Yoga Journal magazine as one of the top five Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world. Shakta is the Founder and Director of Radiant Child® Yoga, an internationally-known training program for teaching children yoga and working with/raising children consciously. In the children’s yoga community, Shakta is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement.
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5 Reasons Your Children Should Play With Clay
Creating with clay is constructive, fulfilling and overall an excellent way to spend your day – but did you know that it also is enormously beneficial to child development? Not only does this benefit children, constructing with clay is a helpful and FUN way to maintain mental acuity in adults as well.
5 Reasons Your Children Should Play With Clay
1. Refining Motor Skills Through Free Expression
The touch of clay has a natural relaxing quality – it invites children to squeeze it, poke it, pull it and manipulate it in all sorts of interesting ways. Clay provides an opportunity for children to explore their dexterity and strengthen their large and fine motor skills while they are enjoying themselves.
2. Increasing Creative Problem Solving Skills, Flexibility and Decision Making
According to a report by Americans for the Arts, education in art mediums benefits problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Clay is unique from other classroom art mediums because unlike painting or drawing, it develops an understanding of the three dimensional world. Working with clay also requires the ability to adapt to change as the limitations of the medium are discovered. Children improve their creative problem solving skills by experimenting with different building techniques, seeing how tall a piece can go before it will become unsteady, and understanding how to combine the visual form of the piece and the function of it.
3. Expressive Therapy
Working with a tactile and responsive medium like clay can be calming for children and adults alike. Manipulating the clay freely can be an outlet for expressing emotions physically in a healthy and constructive way. If children have trouble expressing themselves verbally, clay can be an especially useful tool to convey ideas and emotions.
4. Growing Self-Esteem
To create something out of nothing is empowering. Shaping clay is easy for children, and working with a material that is so easy to directly mold can increase the child’s sense of control. After the clay piece is finished and fired, the child will feel accomplished to have created something so complete.
5. Imagination and FUN!
The Clay Studio is a classroom that encourages children to get messy and to be as creative and silly as they would like to be. Children working with clay are allowed to experiment and create while working directly with their hands. Playing with clay stimulates the imagination while working constructively and ending up with a satisfying product that will be cherished.
Clay is and effective medium for expressing yourself in a unique fashion while sharpening and maintaining mental acuteness and intellectual stability.
Thank you for reading! We are currently preparing for our Summer Clay Camp for children aged 9 to 15. Click below to sign up!
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