This story comes from Jamie Hopkins, one of the creators and founders of Imagination Yoga. Jamie has been teaching children Imagination Yoga long before it even had a name. Jamie has inspired so many children, families and people to do their best each day in their yoga and in their day-to-day interactions it is no wonder beautiful stories, like this one, come back to her.
A 5 year olds’ gift to his Family
As adults, we know that navigating our way through this crazy world can be overwhelming and, at times, downright confusing. Here at Imagination yoga, we work day in and day out thinking up new ways to teach children how to stretch their bodies and open their hearts to new possibilities. As a part of our relaxation curriculum we explain to the children that their breath is like a tool. Just like a nail needs a hammer, we need our breath. Teaching children, early on, to associate breath with relaxation and awareness/present moment, is a gift that can bring more light to their life experience. Over the years I have heard story after story (from teachers, parents and students) of the ways Imagination Yoga students have used the ‘Big Full Yoga Breath’ as a tool to calm their minds and bring more awareness to their experiences.
About a year ago, a mother of one of the children in my class approached me with a story that moved her to tears. She wanted to know more about what this “BIG yoga breath” was all about. She went on to say, “Last night my husband and I were having a heated disagreement and we were speaking loudly and unkindly to each other. We were so caught in the moment that we forgot that our son was playing in the room right next to us”. He walked into the room, stood between us, looked up and said, “I think we should all take our Big Yoga Breath”. He told them to put their hands to their hearts and breathe. He went on to tell them that, “It’s ok to feel angry, but you can feel happy again if you just breathe”. She was blown away by the truth and wisdom coming from her 5 year old son. She needed to know more about where it had come from.
Imagination Yoga teaches students that from time to time we all feel sad, mad, worried, and scared. These emotions are all totally normal. But, is it fun to always feel this way? No. And in fact feeling this way all the time would be really exhausting. We teach the children that one of the best ways to calm our bodies down and find our kindness again is to breathe.
I believe that kindness and connection is our true great nature. I also believe that through breath and awareness, we can learn to link into this space with greater and greater ease. Teaching Imagination Yoga has brought so much love and light to my life. It constantly reminds me that through breath and kindness, we have an opportunity to change up our reality and invite MORE love into our own lives and the lives of those around us.
Thank you to the family for being brave enough to share this story. Thank you to the child for loving his family enough to speak up in a potentially stressful situation, and thank you to Jamie for reminding us that we have these tools inside of us, we just have to remember to use them.