Yesterday was the International Day of Peace, an annual observance by the UN every September 21st.
I taught a Tween (10-12 yrs) and Teen class at Karma Kids, and Shari reminded me it was world peace day (because I of course had no idea!) and to mention it in my classes.
I'm still building my new voice as a tween/teen yoga teacher after my amazing training this summer, and it was really exciting to be gifted a theme to plan a class around. I'm still not a huge planner - I always ask the kids if there's anything special they feel like doing and I try to accomodate as much as I can. But I did throw plenty of "peace" into the class, starting from our opening chant, and at the end of class as they lay in relaxation, I read a peace meditation that I adapted from a few google searches that I'd like to share with you today, readers:
Close your eyes. Relax your body. Try to let go of all outside thoughts and just for a moment watch your breath. Feel the air flowing in and out of your body.
Then start to imagine imagine that it is not air that you are breathing in but peace. Think about a time when you have felt very peaceful and very strong and try and breathe in that feeling. Breathe it in and feel the peace flowing throughout your entire body. Feel that the peace is flowing into your heart and then down to your toes and up through your arms and to the top of your head. Imagine that peace as a white light that is full of strength and calm, and it is filling you with that light. Now as you breathe out try imagining that you are breathing out of yourself any fear or anger that you might have. Breathe in and out like this for a few minutes and when you start to feel full of peace and strength, you can release the breathing out of anger and instead imagine that you are breathing peace into the world. You are creating peace for others to feel. You are helping the whole world to feel more peace.
When you are ready, let that practice go. Keep your eyes closed. Just for a few moments think about how you can be more peaceful in your life. Perhaps the next time you are about to get angry over something very small, remember that anger causes unhappiness not just for you, but for those around you. Remember the strength that comes from peace.
And I concluded with a quote that I love:
Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Teen class turned out to be much larger than normal, which I was thrilled about. Unfortunately I was pressed for time at the end and we didn't have much time for discussion after class about how the meditation went for them and how it made them feel. Next time we do this or a similar exercise, I really look forward to getting feedback from them. Try this practice yourself sometime - I think it's one that we all sorely need.
Happy Saturday, everyone!