At the beginning of every Imagination Yoga story we take three big yoga breathes to prepare our bodies and our minds for yoga class. This had always gone well with this group and seemed to be a calming practice for all of the kids in the class, so one day I introduced a new aspect to the yoga breath.
I asked the kids to imagine that when they were breathing in they were filling up a bright light inside of themselves. I said that this light was full of kindness and as much goodness and positivity as they could put into it. I told them that the light could be any color they imagined and take any shape they wanted. Once the light was full and bright, and they were ready to breathe out, I told them to imagine that their breath, as a light, could fill the gym we were in, and then their whole school, and then the whole city of Portland, all of Oregon, the United states, the entire earth and all the way out into space. I asked them to imagine that their breathe could fill the whole universe.
We did this exercise three times in a row. The kids were quiet and many of them had their eyes closed. Some would let their air out slowly and others would push the air out with such force that it was audible to the rest of the group. A few even moved their heads back and forth as if moving their breathe all around the room.
When we were done one of the kids looked at me and said “You know, we always do these breathes at the beginning of class and I just go really quick and feel like ooo ahhh ooo ahhh (breathing loudly and audibly to add emphasis to her point), but today when you gave us something to visualize it made me feel calm.” This made me so proud! It was always my intention to make the kids feel calm with these breathes, but this reminded me that everyone experiences this in different ways.
After a few moments another kid said “Wait a minute, you told us to breathe out all of the good, kind and positive things inside of us. If we did that wouldn’t their not be anything left for us inside?” Before I could even say anything another kid in the class chimed in with this beautiful insight. She said “No, because we are all doing this at the same time so you are getting all of the good things from us and we are getting them from you.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.