Application of Radiant Child Yoga from OT Point of View

This is an unsolicited response from one of the Radiant Child Yoga training attendees.  May it inspire you!

images-9Hello, I am Sabrina Kenny, and I have been a school-based occupational therapist for over 10 years. For about half of my career I have been practicing yoga regularly and using yoga and yoga-based activities to address many of my student’s needs in individual, small group and whole class sessions.

Over the years, I have taken many children’s yoga trainings and have found them all valuable.  Through these courses I have deeply enhanced my knowledge and skills. Then I attended Radiant Child Yoga level 1-2, and Radiant Child Yoga For Children with Autism, ADHD and the Differently – Abled and I realized what was missing from these past trainings, from my teaching and therapy sessions. The only problem is that I don’t have the words to articulate what I found and how things have changed. I can feel it. I’ve been feeling it since day 2 of the training, but not sure if I will ever really be able to say it suitably.

YIMsp:DVD.cover I can go on and on for pages about all of the good Radiant Child has brought to my personal yoga practice, my teaching and my occupational therapy practice (how half the school walks around unconsciously chanting “I am happy….I am good”, how much my kindergarteners love Yoga in Motion DVD and how they have taught all of the songs to their parents, how I no longer have yoga teacher block because of all the great activities and uplifting affirmations we learned, how I am better able to articulate and justify the necessity of yoga in my OT practice …). But for some reason, I feel more compelled to talk of things other than the good.

For the most part, I have always loved being and OT, especially since I have been working in the NYC schools.   However, back in October when I attended Radiant Child. I was having a very difficult time adjusting to an unusual amount of workplace changes (most of them at the time did not seem good), obstacles and some unexpected loses. I will not get lost in the details, but I felt myself rapidly transforming from the person who looked forward to going to work to the person who had mini anxiety attacks on Sunday night. The stressors were affecting my job performance; I felt disorganized, overwhelmed, not present, and worst of all, not effective.

At the Yoga for Children with ADHD and Autism training, I sat half asleep at our 6 am yoga classes, listened to the inspiring stories that were shared from both instructors and many of the students, I soon felt the passion, authenticity and devotion of the teachers begin to transform me. What felt so heavy and impossible to overcome, suddenly felt really trivial. By day 2, I was no longer overwhelmed with stress, and by day 4 I felt empowered with an interesting sense of tranquility, hope and exuberance.images-7

When I returned to school on Tuesday, everything was different. To be honest, I didn’t even start to incorporate the specific skills I learned and treasured so dearly for almost two weeks after the course. I felt this weird desire to save it, the way I use to save my Easter basket candy when I was a child. But even so, so much changed immediately. I was suddenly overpowered with the love I had for my students and my colleagues. I felt a new sense of understanding, awareness and clarity. I knew exactly what I needed to do to overcome some of the barriers we had been faced with. I could not articulate it to anyone and clearly still cannot. I was frustrated by my lack of words to describe this amazing experience initially.

images-1Nevertheless, something I did learn at the training was that there is so much more to our experiences than words can describe, and there is so much more to US that cannot be described.

However, I can say this.

  • Since Radiant Child, I’ve been able to remain calmer in the face of chaos and believe my students are slowly but steadily beginning to as well.I have noticed that without using words, I have been able to help some of their teachers do the same.
  • I’ve been better able to see the gifts that each child brings, especially the difficult students many teachers and therapists are afraid to work with.
  • I have been relying more on vibration and less on words and have been praying and meditating more.
  • In my teaching, I have been incorporating breath work, chanting and mindfulness, positive affirmations, song/ dance more than ever and no longer feel worried about what others will think of me.
  • I’ve been assertive enough to maintain class structure but calm enough to let things go, which had long been a challenge for me.

Because of Radiant Child, I am more effective at addressing the varying needs of my students and truly believe that yoga has enhanced their holistic well-being.

Most importantly, when I am with my students, I am completely present, and this I believe has made the most difference. I have so much gratitude for the instructors and hope to continue to have the privilege of attending more of their trainings.

Posted in autism, awareness, Children's Yoga, children's yoga therapy, kids yoga, occupational therapist yoga, Radiant Child Yoga, shakta khalsa, yoga | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Yogic Snack, Tons of Antioxidants

DSCN1898This is a great simple breakfast…good on the go.  Keep a bag in your car.  Or just have as a snack anytime.

Here’s the scoop on each ingredient of this superfood combination.  Enjoy!

Dried Mulberries: Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries have potential health effects against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol protects against stroke risk by altering molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels.  High in Vitamin C, low in calories. *

Blanched Almonds:   Vitamin E, great for skin.  Easier to digest than raw almonds.  See more info from a previous post:  https://shaktakaurkhalsa.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/almond-love-for-women/

Goji Berries:  Over time, people have used goji berries to try to treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems.  They are known in Asia to promote longevity, a feeling of well-being, good sleep, and good athletic performance. **

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes: Protein, Fiber, Iron, and Zinc.  And the crunch and oil taste is really satisfying! ***

Juice Sweetened Cranberries: May help urinary tract infections, or for prevention.  Great source of Vitamin C.  The slightly tart taste goes well with this combo. ****

*  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mulberries.html

** http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects

*** http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-shredded-coconut-4027.html

****http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145

Posted in feel-good food, food, healthy diet, healthy eating, Radiant Child Yoga, shakta khalsa, yoga | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Stories Needed for Book–Time Sensitive!

Dear Friends of Radiant Child,

There is an opportunity to tell your story and positively affect tens of thousands of people to empower themselves and their relationships with children.  As well, your story will help empower children to be the wise, radiant, authentic beings they truly are.

 My book about authentic relationships with children and ourselves is due out in 2016 with a wonderful worldwide publisher.

I’m calling all parents, caregivers, therapists, teachers, and anyone who parents and/ or works with children to take a look at the list below and if you feel inspired–choose one (or if a couple ideas go together, that’s fine.).  SEND ME ONE OR TWO PARAGRAPHS WITH YOUR STORY BY MAY 10TH.

Send to shakta@childrensyoga.com

You may need to check your spam for a reply.  Add childrensyoga.com to your safe sender list.

I will contact you to let you know if we can use it, and if so, what editing it needs.  If you prefer, we can change names and places for privacy.

Thanks much, and if we use your story, we’ll send you a download link of your choice from http://www.childrensyoga.com shop!

  1. Speak about your version of knowing children as big souls in little bodies? What are you learning from children? How do you see them learning from you in turn?
  2. IMG_3284How do you balance over-parenting and under-parenting?
  3. How do you balance between being indulgent and over-disciplinarian?
  4. If you don’t “appoint”, you won’t be disappointed.  In what way have you learned about this in relation to a child
  5. How do you with your fears about your child?
  6. How do you work with negative/positive minds to come to neutral in relation to children?
  7. How do you live in your high heart, not your emotional heart?
  8. How do you work with the concept of making an effort to change? How do you change for the better–what is the mechanism?
  9. Name an instance when you used your imagination to feel for a new space in relation to children. Elaborate.
  10. How do you become a non-anxious presence for a child who is feeling anxious or fearful?
  11. How do you reclaim your own child?
  12. What do you do to remember “they are children” and the way the are acting is completely normal.
  13. How have you worked with slowing down with your children? How have you taken a step back from over-scheduling them and yourself?
  14. What do you do to connect with your children? (not just the action but also the feeling space you are creating.)
  15. In what ways do you create integrity in your life in relation to children? Do you have any examples of how they were influenced by you in this way?
  16.  What are some ways you create mindful moments for yourself? For your child?yellow rose
  17. How do you connect with your children that is different from your partner? What work have you done to accept your partner’s way if it is different from yours?
  18.  Write about your version of this statement:
  19. “When you hold someone as the object of your attention while you are in the center of your loving, authentic Self, you act as a satellite for them. Even if they are not close to their own center, your satellite beams the way forward.” Teachings of Abraham, Esther Hicks
  20.  What experiences have you had learning not to “bite the bait” when a challenge is presenting itself to you in the form of the child. How have you worked to respond, not react?
  21. “You cannot change what you do not own”: Write about an example of this for you in real life.prayerpose
  22. How have you learned to befriend yourself, and what has been the result?
  23.  How do you know when you are following your true guidance? How do you nurture that in children?
  24. Anything not mentioned here that you would like to write about?

thank you!

Send to shakta@childrensyoga.com by May 10th

IMG_2960

Posted in children's yoga therapy, kids yoga, meditation, mindfulness, notes from Shakta, parenting, Radiant Child Yoga, yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Mother, the April Fooler

My mother, Grace Meyers, was a unique person.  She could totally drive you crazy with her nagging and attention to every detail of your life.  And then again, she could be such a high-spirited, super-tuned in person, with a natural sense of humor involving the most ordinary things in life that you’d be laughing at something she did or said until your sides hurt.

images-5And boy, was she a prankster when it came to April Fool’s Day.  Every year she outdid herself as she took to creating devilish practical jokes, especially on my dad.

After a while these pranks began to take the form of  booby traps in his lunch box.

These were the old days when wives stayed home most of the time, and packed everyone’s lunches for each school/work day.  Kids got their square metal ones with pictures of their favorite cartoons or princesses, and grown up guys took beat-up metal ones that really accessorized the blue-collar look.images-2

My dad, Howdy Meyers, worked on an assembly line at the “shop”, which is all I ever called my dad’s work.  He was a Union Steward and well-known with the guys he worked with all day long.  And on April Fool’s day everyone gathered around in gleeful anticipation of the joke that was in Howdy’s lunch box.

images-4I wish I could remember all the April Fool’s pranks she played, but I do distinctly remember three of them, just to give you a feel for it:

1.  An Easter Egg that was dyed, but uncooked….what a mess!

2.  A brownie that was a sponge surrounded with icing….mmmm…hope it was a brand-new sponge!

3. A cupcake with a rubber ball in the center…at least it was not a rock–she had some mercy in there somewhere!

To his credit, my dad was a good sport about all this.  I think it even made his day each year.

I’ve included them dancing at their wedding back in the 40s–can you see the impish personality?  and someone who enjoys the energy of that?

mum dad

Happy April Fool’s Day…hope you got some new good ideas for next year!

Posted in appreciation, notes from Shakta, parenting, yoga | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

In the Words of a Spiritual Teacher: Who Are Children?

hopeoffutureYogi Bhajan, a powerful and unique spiritual teacher, was a source of guidance and inspiration for me from 1976 onward. Wisdom flowed from his mouth and from his actions at every moment.

One day in 1994, Yogi Bhajan was passing through a crowd of hundreds when he stopped in his tracks as he passed me and my three year-old son.  In one second he felt the energy of the soul who was this youngster, and turned to me, saying, “He needs martial arts.  Get him into a class.”  And with a look that told me he was clearly seeing something deeper than I was, he was on his way.  Needless to say, our son was the youngest in that martial arts class, and kept up with the best of them for many years afterwards.  The training helped channel his strong energy and gave him a focused challenge.

SK Photo 7Just this last weekend I had an all-new appreciation for the words of Yogi Bhajan as we finished the level 3 section of Radiant Child Yoga training.  Within this particular section, we get to experience a heightened connection with the Soul of the Child, and our own soul connection as well.

Though Yogi Bhajan was complex and often subtle, he most often addressed things quite head-on.  One of his quotes from the RCY teacher training manual stood out for me this weekend:

“Children are not pets, property, or possessions, but are the future and hope of the planet.  They have strengths which need to be encouraged and weaknesses which need to be channeled or positively used.  They need the inspiration of the parents’ life example, not so much by words or shows.”

The martial arts phase that our son experienced was a way of channeling his strong energy in a positive way.  I still see the effect of that experience reverberating in his life as a young adult.  Though our son is a young adult, I know there are many times when Yogi Bhajan’s words are just as important now, as it was then.

In what ways can you channel your children (or your students) into positive expressions?  Can you give yourself and your child the experience of non-attachment and see what happens?

Let me know…leave a message here if you like!

Posted in awareness, Children's Yoga, conscious relationships, Happily Ever Now, Kundalini Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, parenting, Radiant Child Yoga, yoga, yoga therapy, yogi bhajan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be a BELIEF THIEF!!

thank you
I made a video of myself dancing in the kitchen because it happened spontaneously.  I contemplated whether to do it or not because I was just hanging around my kitchen, no special clothing, no fixing of the hair, no make-up.  And I decided that it was good to make the video just the way I was.   I did this because because we all struggle with wanting to appear a certain way to the world, and the media has cashed in on that idea.

Instead I was just having a lot of fun, the way I do when I am feeling good, and I wanted to share it to inspire others to have fun…

When you get to the end of this life, that is the only thing that will be of importance—how much joy you felt, what good use you put your life to—and I don’t mean serving others because that comes naturally from a place of joy—but it is not the goal.  The goal is joyful life.  This is a belief worth having in my opinion!

Then I heard from one of my students, who is a heart-centered teacher of Radiant Child Yoga, and who is committed to her own spiritual growth.  She was touched by this video and said:

“I  just want you to know that you speak to my heart.  If you didn’t know I was struggling this week you have great timing.”

And I replied:

I feel the way it works is that we are all synchronistic beings, but most of the time we as a humanity are not aware of the synchronicity.  It could go something like this—I might not know specifically what is happening with you energetically, but because we have agreed (on a soul level, or superconscious level) to be tuned in together, we can feel the synchronicity.

The only reason you (or me, or anyone) might struggle, is because you are believing something that your soul doesn’t believe—so there is conflict.  Your true being knows your value and when you devalue yourself, there is a gap of credibility.  This gap makes you feel bad, even if you are not aware of it consciously.

lighten up
I am really enjoying studying with a channeled teacher called Bashar.  One funny thing he says is, we take on beliefs that are other people’s ideas about us or about how life works.  We do that very early in life so we don’t even know it is happening.  We think this is just the way it is.  He says this is why it feels so heavy, because you are dragging around this baggage that isn’t even yours!  So don’t steal other people’s beliefs, Bashar says,….don’t be a BELIEF THIEF!! Ha ha….
Drop what others have said is the way to be, no shoulds.  Let yourself feel who you are and what you want to do—and if judgements come up, realize they are old “recordings” that you just picked up somewhere along your life.  Remember, you don’t want to carry around other people’s beliefs…it gets so heavy!

 Lighten up and tell yourself “I’m not going to be a belief thief!  I’m going to find out what I, my true self, believes about this situation.”

to gathergather

Posted in Abraham-Hicks, appreciation, awareness, brain yoga, Happily Ever Now, Happily Ever Now, law of attraction, meditation, mindfulness, notes from Shakta, Poetry, yoga, yoga therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bringing Children’s Yoga into the Community

Meet Diana Brubaker, and hear her amazing success story as a new children’s yoga teacher…thank you Diana!

images-9As a Radiant Child Yoga (RCY) Instructor, my journey began with one student and has grown to over four hundred students, with new opportunities on the horizon.  All this has happened in less than one year after completing my training.

In February 2014, I had the honor of taking Radiant Child Yoga with Shakta Khalsa. I was so excited and inspired that I left racing out of the gate. I immediately began teaching private RCY classes to my son and the children of local friends. Then my son’s half-day preschool invited me into the classroom to teach. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous and it showed; however, I learned a lot about 1) the logistics of running a class for sixteen, 3-5 year olds and 2) my own self-regulation when teaching children.

Armed with this new knowledge, I rented space in a local yoga studio and ran a series of six-week sessions for ages 3-5 and ages 5-9. The children instantly absorbed the joyful songs and games from the RCY Level 1-3 training and were excited to share what they learned with their parents. I used this as an opportunity to invite the parents to the final session and have the children teach some of their favorite RCY activities (Meditation with a Feather, Fly Like a Butterfly, yoga songs like “Peace Like a River”, Be a Drum, and deep relaxation). The children and their parents were thrilled.YIMsp:DVD.cover

I am now working with four schools across three counties in West Virginia and Maryland to develop yoga programs. Each school has unique concerns and levels of resistance and acceptance. Utilizing my RCY training, I have created a “5 in 5 program” (exercise to calm in minutes) in three elementary schools. During a one-week period, I taught 437 elementary school students as part of their regular gym rotation. I am running an after-school Yoga Club for grades K-5 and working with individual teachers to offer weekly yoga in the classroom.

I am so grateful for this journey, my teachers, and the opportunity to create a more nurturing and empowering environment for students, teachers, principals, the community, and myself.

With Love and Gratitude,

Diana

 Note from Shakta:  See Diana’s lesson plan, Walk the Dog, in the Feb Radiant Child Yoga Newsletter, and get on our email list to receive a free downloadable lesson plan each month!

 

Posted in autism, brain yoga, Children's Yoga, kids yoga, Radiant Child Yoga, relaxation, school yoga, yoga | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding “Better Air”

This is from an email that my husband, Kartar, sent to his yoga students.  He is a very special Kundalini Yoga teacher, and we are fortunate to have him as a lead teacher in Radiant Child Family Yoga Certification.  You can find him at his site.

images-1

The other day I was on a bumpy flight.  After a while the captain came on the PA to say “we’re trying to find some better air”.

It occurred to me—aren’t we all trying to find some “better air”—better circumstances, nicer companions, more of what we want and less of what we don’t want?

And how often do we turn attention to the outside—to circumstances, the energetic of “getting things”, or believing we’ll be happier when others have changed?

The “rules of happiness”, if you want to say it that way, are really not like that.  And neither is it like that in yoga.

In yoga, it is the choice to move away from the belief in, the attachment to, thoughts that pulls one out of alignment from the stillpoint, the zero point, where all the universe and synchronicity is waiting.

So working on the inside to make that transition from being in thought to being in stillness, emptiness, is the way in.  It is the portal.

plane

 

 

Posted in Abraham-Hicks, appreciation, awareness, conscious relationships, Happily Ever Now, Happily Ever Now, Kundalini Yoga, law of attraction, meditation, mindfulness, yoga | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Daily Reminder from Law of Attraction Work

From Happily Ever Now course.  Enjoy!

Today no matter where I’m going,IMG_0757

no matter what I’m doing,

it is my dominant intent

images-3to look for what I’m wanting to see.

I’m going to distract myself from things that trouble me.

I’m going to pamper myself into alignment.

I’m going to soothe myself into alignment.

fire in my heart

fire in my heart

I’m going to love myself into alignment.

I’m going to treat myself so good

symbol for Ahimsa

symbol for Ahimsa

it’s going to be impossible for me not to be

in the vortex

and THEN

I will uplift the world!  

 

Quote from http://www.Abraham-Hicks.com, created by Shakta Khalsa http://www.childrensyoga.com

Posted in awareness, conscious relationships, guided imagery, Kundalini Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, notes from Shakta, world peace, yoga, yoga therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza

photoHave been paying attention to carbs in an experiment to see how well it will help my low back issues.  Seems to be helping, though I was not as in control of my own diet with the holidays.  Back to normal now, yay!

Cauliflower has been key in making low-carb taste good.  There are recipes for Cauliflower Rice, Pizza, and “mashed potatoes”.   Some of them contain dairy and eggs so if that doesn’t work for you, please substitute.

Link to Cauliflower Pizza (and other cauliflower-mock dishes):

My adaptations on this recipe:

cauliflower pizza dough

cauliflower pizza dough

Substituted egg replacer for eggs

added pesto sauce to give a bit more flavor, and no additional garlic

One of the key parts of the recipe is to dry the pulverized cauliflower thoroughly with paper towels.  Think “flour”–it has to be dry.

Topping:

I sautéed whatever veggies seemed appropriate that were in my fridge.  (this is the kind of cook I am anyway…).

Saute onions, grated zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes (in a jar with olive oil)

Form “dough” into patties (the larger they are, the harder they are to cut and pick up), bake for 10-15 min as per the recipe.

Add sautéed mix plus cut black olives and bake again, 15-20 min or until it seems firm and brown around edges.

tips: Use some flour on your hands to form patties.  If you want to keep it gluten free, use almond flower or besan flour.

If I had used real eggs it might have held together better.  As it was, the consistency was more like potato pancakes, so smaller and thinner “pizza” works better.

That’s it!  Enjoy!

Posted in cleansing diet, healing food, vegan, vegetarian, yoga | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment