April turns to May with renewed optimism.
Absolutely without logic, the inner calendar crammed with assignments and upcoming deadlines, yet the mind rejoices along with new bird songs. Morning is a delightful orchestra.
Class Relax offers time to listen.
This past week, Class Relax was able to visit a few classes. One was at the expected time, and along with the horrific news of those trapped and awaiting rescue in Nepal, I decided to offer the lovingkindess meditation. There were those who were intimately tied to young people alive but stranded in the mountains of Nepal. We took the time to nourish ourselves, offering ourselves safety, health, happiness and the wish to live in peace. We then offered those same phrases to someone who inspired us. May you be safe, healthy, happy, and may you live in peace. And finally, strengthened by our positive thoughts, we turned to someone who is undergoing hard times. We pictured them, said their name silently to ourselves, within our hearts, and we offered them the phrases: safety, health, happiness and the wish that they live in peace.
All this done to gentle music to envelope ourselves in our own attention.
Stretching out afterwards, I saw the change in atmosphere, the shift in sound in the classroom.
I believe in this meditation, found here.
A teacher of the 7th grade hearing that Class Relax has been re-focusing the 9th grade students of another teacher in my school, invited me into her class before a quiz. These students have been practising belly breathing with their Homeroom teacher and know it helps. In addition, they know me, after our session during the Seventh Grade Health Week. So, positive energies were kindled as the teacher introduced me and what we were going to be doing. I clicked onto the breathing meditation in nature clip and off we went. We gathered ourselves, noticing our feet on the floor, our bodies on the chair and we began to pay attention to our breathing. By the end of 10 breaths, the room was noticeably less frenetic and hopefully, the quiz went well!
Other times during the week, students asked me to conduct a Class Relax session. At the end of the schoolday, in 7th grade, we needed to revive sunken energies and so we did a guided imagery session, heads on the desks, following along with my voice or just letting it lull them easily into another place.
Awakened we began a karaoke English lesson which then morphed into a Karaoke favourite song session together with voice and dance.
The next day, after an exam, my 10th grade students were depleted. We used a breathing meditation, to clear and refresh ourselves. The music was gentle piano chords along with the sounds of a brook.
And with happy teacher (I am always made into a happy teacher after Class Relax) and more focused students we prepared for our work in literature.
Try it. See what happens when you take a short pause before charging straight ahead.
Comments? Add your thoughts at the bottom of the page! Thanks in advance. I’d love to know what you think!
Class Relax took a vacation in April along with the Passover holiday in Israel.
Coming back to school and reviewing our basic skills.
When I invite you to notice your breathing, what do you notice?
“I take in air into my lungs”
Good. Yes. Sometimes we breathe into our lungs. But sometimes we breathe into our throat, very shallow breathing like this – (and I do it and instantly feel nervous!)
And some people might breathe right into their bellies. Like this (and as I do it, I feel calmer)
I breathe out, out, out until there’s no air in the belly. In fact, the belly touches the backbone it’s so empty. Hold it…. now breathe in fresh air and notice how the belly swells up like a balloon. Let’s try. Put your hands on your belly. Now slowly breathe out, until the balloon is empty. Hold it. And now breathe in. Feel your belly grow.
Breathing from the belly, let’s count 8 breaths. When you finish, bring your hands up to your heart.
This experience brought into a 9th grade classroom was a valuable one. Is it obvious what I want when I guide them to breathe? Is it obvious what they are to do? Noticing the breath can be deceivingly simply. A few told me that they don’t need me to tell them to breathe! They do it just fine. Apparently it’s true! They’re all alive and oxygenated. But in order to build an anchor, some inner place where we can feel ‘at home’, it may be necessary to change our attention. We may need to alter our habits in order to help ourselves notice.