Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"
Showing posts with label Inspirational. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspirational. Show all posts

Monday, May 26, 2014

Searching within! Finding Happiness Movie

What a whirlwind this spring has been. Since completing my Ananda Yoga Teacher Training this spring, the days were increasing in light, but I have found myself mindfully connecting closer to my heart, and internally slowing down while listening to the inner callings of my soul. Thank you for continuing to read my past entries and sharing this with your friends and colleagues. I find the internet so fascinating and how we can connect globally all around the world with others that I may never have the opportunity to meet personally. I am viewing this blog as a divine service to others in sharing the Education for Life ideals, and Sharing Nature philosophy that I have grown to call my life's dharma. 

I am here to introduce today, a beautiful project that I am asked to get involved by connecting others through social media. This entry today is to invite others to watch the recently produced; Finding Happiness movie.

For the past 20 years I have been apart of a large spiritual community called "Ananda." I found Ananda after developing my intuition through self taught meditation, and deep prayers during a particular challenging transition in my early 40's. I have been so blessed in developing life long friendships, spiritual family along with the benefit of deepening my spiritual longing to find truth and meaning in my life.

Recently in the past two years Ananda has been involved in a more outward ways by sharing the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and his mission of spiritual communities. They have recently produced a beautiful movie, which I am attaching in the right hand column of this blog. There is a link to the trailer to view, and directions on how to actually host your own gathering of friends and sharing this streaming movie in the privacy of your own home. .

Are you seeking truth and depth in your spiritual life? For connections to other like minded souls to grow in  deeper spiritual understanding?

Please take some time to watch the movie: Finding Happiness, and share it with others.

Any questions that you may have, you may direct them to me on this blog, or contact Ananda.

May your light in this world be every guided from within. 

Blessings, Chandi

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

 Right now most of us are relaxing and reviewing the spiritual thoughts that Christmas brought to us this year.  Yes, another year of rustling to this party or that, shopping, tuning into that best present for a friend, or just listening to your favorite musical Christmas piece.  But that is the outward form of Christmas. 

 The many inner moments of the past week, came disguised with many forms and small packages.  This year marks a special seventeenth year that my husband and I will always remember. It was like riding a bike at your fastest pace, but it never seemed to take off fully or was tripped up by yet another surprise. We just had to laugh at it all, try our hardest and keep it all in prospective.
But as we are still enough, as a thief in the night, that awestruck sparkling moments, did creep in and filled us with this amazing sense of awe and power. 
 Christmas isn't just one day for us, it is how we live our lives constantly on our spiritual journey 

May this Christmas be forever close to your heart, and may we all continue to share that light with all whom we meet. I send my warmest blessings of love and light to you all. 

Merry Christmas. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spiritual quote for the week

I came across this spiritual quote during the week, and I felt inspired to share with one of my photos.

" When one realizes God, he no longer feels that others are different from himself.
Paramhansa Yogananda

Take this into your meditation for the weekend.

Have a good weekend all. 

Blessings and Gratitude,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Book Giveaway; Two years later.

My very first blog in August of 2011
To August of 2013.

I began my blogging journey in August 2011. I was one of the very first Education for Life teachers to take the leap of faith after researching how to write a blog for about a year. Actually it was just getting up the nerve to write. Who would read it? What would I call it? Are others even interested in a different point of view when educating the whole child through the Education for Life principles? Would anyone be willing to listen to my inner dialog or chatter about alternative lifestyles? 

 One hundred and fifteen entries later, and well as they say, the rest has been history. Our small group of teachers are now expanding all around the globe. Many of our teachers are expanding on their own blogs.( These are at the side panel on this blog) 
We had our second Education for Life Conference this summer at our Living Wisdom College campus. It has been so wonderful connecting with educators in India, Australia,  England, New York, Oklahoma, Canada, Italy, well there are too many to remember exactly. It has been an exciting time. 

This past month in the history of my blog, I had over 1600 readers. It is mind blogging. Where do you all come from?
This was a record for one month. 

So I would like to thank you for sharing this journey with me. 

I will be having a free drawing  for one of two selected books :
I am attaching the links for you to read a review about each book. 

After one week, I will have a drawing for this book. The only catch is that you have to add your name at the comments below and how I can contact you. This will be so helpful. Please let me know why you would love to receive one of these books? 

Thank you again for reading and returning to my blog. I am humbly grateful and glad that I could share. 

Joy to you,

Monday, September 2, 2013

What can a yoga class look like for children and how can it benefit my child?

  What can a yoga class look like for children and how can it benefit my child?

I have been teaching Ananda Yoga to children since 2002, when I received my first training from Ananda Yoga. This was also the first year of the Living Wisdom Preschool which is now the Living Wisdom School of Seattle. Just as the school has evolved with over 50 students my yoga classes have also evolved over the years. I am now teaching 4 classes a week during the school year to about 40 students. The ages I mostly teach are ages 3-8. 

Now often I get many puzzled looks about how I can teach a 3 year old yoga but I have found teaching to the young child can be uplifting, joyful, creative, and entertaining. I believe in teaching children's yoga it is all about moving, centering, listening and creating a deeper state of calmness that a child can tune into on their own. 

So what is Ananda Yoga and how does this differ from other types of yoga techniques?

Many hatha yoga traditions are generally known for toning and stretching the muscles, building strength and flexibility. It also promotes cardiovascular health and emotional well-being and providing stress relief. Yoga also stimulates and invigorates internal organs and thus encouraging the body to heal itself and one that really helps our children is it improves concentrations and focus while increasing mental clarity. 

But Ananda Yoga also provides our children about body control and breath without force, and a gentle ease of,well being connectedness, vitality and inner joy that can help children in their daily routines. Ananda Yoga helps us tune into our bodies opening up the energy channels, that awakens the subtle life force. We learn how to move the energy inward, feel and then move it upward. The children learn the subtle ways to tense, relax, and feel their energy. 
Ananda Yoga also uses subtle affirmations with each asana. The children can memorize these and use them in their daily lives when faced with different circumstances. 

" With calm faith, I open to thy light" 
"Through mightiest storms I stand serene"

A typical yoga class can last for about 40 minutes. I begin with the flow learning. Flowing Learning created by the Sharing Nature Foundation is a simple, and natural framework that can sequence activities and teaches in a systematic way.  "Awakening Enthusiasm" Each class begins with a bell, and I say:

Now in deep faith and gratitude we come to the practice of yoga . 

 We continue with  a song, or a story with our warm up poses. This changes depending on who I may be teaching at any specific time.
After I have matched my energy to all the children, then we begin our day.
These are story cards that we may in . Each child selects a card and we carefully weave our asanas and story through the daily class.
I like to start out with easier asanas first to " Focus Attention".
In Ananda Yoga we do all the starting asanas standing up first. These asanas awaken the body and awaken the energy channels and flow in the body.

I often teach asanas each week the exact same way,and build on their strength and I tune into the asanas that are their favorites. I have found the ages beginning at age 4 the children really need to build core, upper body and upper leg strength. This helps them in all areas of their physical lives. I have found yoga strengthens their bodies to make them stronger runners for soccer, stronger upper body strength for swimming and leg strength for body awareness and control of their upper torso.

The next stage of our yoga class is "Direct Experience." These are the times of deep concentration. This can happen during our "deep relaxation" visualization journey that the children go on, a short meditation we practice together  or  a song that I sing while ringing our ending bell:  "I am rocking until I get real still "segment of our class."This is ultimate climax to the class and the ultimate joy of experiencing the deeper aspects of yoga together.

All of this is done with familiarity from week to week can be  with games, stories, puppets, story cards and songs.
I have many tricks in my magic basket from 12 years of teaching yoga,  that I share. All the  classes build on one and other/ It keeps things actively calm and calmly active.

At the very end of class I offer our" Shared Inspiration" segment of the class. This is when I pull out an muti-faceted glowing egg. We all pass our egg around as we share together the quality of the color that that the egg is releasing for us. As they hold the egg, it turns spiritual colors. The colors represent, love, wisdom, calmness, truth, healing and kindness. They love to hold the egg and share their quality their families after class .
Ananda Yoga allows the children to expand their realities outside of the classroom and share those qualities in other situations and events.

Above all of the techniques and rituals of any yoga class, it is my deepest devotion to share yoga with children. I am humbled and honored.

As we say at the end of our class:
I bow to the soul in you,
I bow to the soul in me
and together we are one.

Many Blessings,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Environment is stronger than will. Beauty in the Living Wisdom Classroom.

 The summer is slowly ending, but I can say the life of a teacher is always in clear focus.

 The past three weeks, I have been changing my classroom at the Living Wisdom School and creating my yearly curriculum. There are a few new changes in our environment.  Every item needs to be cleaned, and moved to create an uplifting foundation for the new students that arrive on Wednesday.  Some how it feels like I have been going at "turtle " pace though. I like to spend quality time in my classroom meditating, singing and actually creating some new art. This year some new felt pieces and art will be added into the classroom.

The environment is the third teacher and helps to uplift the spirit of the child. I like to prepare my classroom with soothing harmonious colors, materials and fabrics. This year especially I am focusing on beauty and calmness. Mentally I place each item in a certain location that can uplift and spark inner love, creativity, and beauty for the young child.

 I believe that children don't need a lot of unnecessary materials that clutter their environments and spaces. The materials I use are also natural woods with the elimination of  unnecessary plastic in the space. I also create all my own visuals. I don't buy teacher materials to put up all over the walls. The art on the walls, are there to stimulate children's creativity and instill the qualities that everyone can be an artist. We all have creativity deep within our beings. If I am teaching an aspect I will add my own visuals. These are just my own personal views and are very subtle to the spiritual child.

I begin imagining children playing in a certain location before the first day of school. What area will have the most children playing? What is the flow in the classroom? Are their areas that a child can play alone or with others? Are their areas for drawing, reading, and block play? Are there dark spaces? Is the lighting soft? Is every corner uplifting without clutter? Are the counters clean? Are there plenty of baskets for natural material: rocks, drift wood, and shells? Does the classroom flow with ease? Is there a space for all the materials?

I also place an importance in meeting my students before school starts. I like to bond a little with them and make them at ease with the new transition of entering the Living Wisdom School.

This past week, I added a whole new cooking area for our room and painted this picture that hangs in our reading area.  We are doing more cooking this year, so the children will be practicing along side of me while we prepare: soups, breads, muffins, fresh organic juices, and moon biscuits of course.

In the  pre-kindergarten classroom I use uplifting but soothing colors. The classroom is a nurturing space for a young child. For many children this is one of the first places away from their home. My classroom provides the bridge into a more traditional classroom. I use soft lighting, plants, flowers, crystals, and soothing colors.
This is our angel ring over their heads. 

Our classroom mural of the moon. 

I will end with a thought that a wise man said:

"No matter what work I am called upon to perform, I know there is a way to bring beauty and inspiration into it. May I always be alive to beauty and creative inspiration."

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Just getting my feet wet

Just getting my feet slightly wet.

These past two weeks have been filled with loving voices at my home in the Ananda Community.
I have been leading the 5-7 year old group this year in our Living Wisdom Yoga Camp.
I will continue to write about my 15th year teaching at the Living Wisdom Yoga Camp in the next few days.

This is one of our groups doing a Sharing Nature activity: Duplication Game. 
Sharing Nature Activities®
Sharing Nature Activities®

 But for now I am just getting my feet wet as I begin to prepare intuitively for our school year beginning in September. I am exploring my first class with the Waldorf Community and Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie. I met Lisa a few years ago when we were both doing another online class together through Fairydust Teaching. Lisa is a profound writer, teacher, parent facilitator, and mother. I love reading her blogs and experiencing the simple life she leads in Vermont.

 The internet is a golden opportunity to enrich our lives while meeting fellow teachers all though out the globe and I have found it deeply inspiring sharing ideas together.

I am catching up on her latest training late each evening. It takes all my willpower to not fall asleep while reading the materials. Our weather here in Seattle has been so beautiful, and while I am not complaining teaching outside each day in Yoga Camp can really zap my energy levels.

But as the title of the blog today: I am just tiptoeing in the water while thinking ahead for my new class, families, and fall registration.

 But not to soon, I am still feeling the bliss of this beautiful Northwest summer we are having.

Many Blessings,
Happy Summer

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stepping into the light

I have just recently returned from my annual silent retreat that I take each summer. A great Indian saint said: "Seclusion is the price of greatness."  So it is with this spirit I packed up all my belongings, left my natural surroundings, and began to quiet the murmur of my soul.  

My days were spent in meditation, yoga, chanting, spiritual journaling, praying for my loved ones, reading spiritual literature, and for the first time in many years, I'm rekindling my practice of drawing and painting. 

This year was a beautiful time of solitude. I bundled up all my camping gear and headed to a nearby lavender farm.  My heart really wanted to be close to the trees. 

I spent six nights in a small tent underneath large cedar and pine trees. I awoke each morning to nearby forest birds singing a boisterous symphony chorus of various songs. Their methodical melodies joyfully awoke my senses. Each sound was in continuous harmony, gently reminding me that I was Only a visitor to their natural setting.   

 During the school year, I like to teach my students about becoming a part nature's existence. I found it deeply inspiring this year to become so still in nature. So this was a profound journey into the heart of nature each day.  

Now, I am back home into my natural rhythm of daily life in the Ananda Community with a harmonious spiritual family and deep soul friendships. 

 Re-entry from not talking for 6 days can be a little challenging at first. You just want to hold onto the inner silence and peace for as long as you can. 

Next year my goal is try and take two weeks of seclusion. The main point in taking a seclusion though is to draw in the deep inspirations of God's infinite light and his daily presence. 

I have found each summer day upon my return refreshing, and my energy is recharged. 

I would like to leave you with some lovely photos I took during my seclusion and inspire your thoughts of experimenting and trying to take a seclusion for yourself.

The light beckons all of us a home to his guiding presence.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A time to stop and smell the flowers

As the year ends for classroom teachers, the first couple of weeks are almost a daunting task to actually tell the body to slow way down. How do we do that? How can we actually just be? The school year is divided up into so many single tasks that seem to roll out like a long carpet, that never stops. I like to visualize a palace with the carpet of our tasks filling up the whole castle. The children are the princes and princesses. We are there to serve their needs as best we can.

But now the summer is for us to replenish our mind, body and souls.

I have over the years really loved and cherished the summertime.

 It is a time for me to remind myself that I am to slow down my mind from chattering, planning, and become one with the spiritual energy all around me. I begin to notice nature more profoundly, the birds, the warmth of the sun, and of course lets not forget the flowers. As I slow down I am inwardly more creative. I listen to the whispers of my soul more profoundly and the inner lessons that I am to receive.

I begin to look at my body temple. How can I replenish it as well? How well am I eating, sleeping, and exercising. I am I drinking enough water? I take the time to juice daily and eat organic foods that are grown right outside my door.
The summer also provides me with many opportunities to cook
 for my husband and try out new combinations of ingredients.

I also dive deep in my spiritual life, to journal, chant, and reading spiritual books that I haven't had the opportunity to read deeply through the school year.

  I also find more time to serve others in my family and community.

This next week I will be taking my annual meditation seclusion. It is a time of complete silence. I will not have emails to answer, phones,or internet connections. It is a time to dive deep into the spirit and to replenish my soul for the year that will unfold in the fall.

I am so grateful for this time to slow down and stop and smell the flowers.

In joyful expectancy......
May we all find solace in this season of warmth and inner joy.

Many Blessings,