18398754652_9fb6438b40_z“Miss Julie, did you bring those things that cover our eyes today?”

This question is often the first thing asked from at least one of the kids when they see my “bag of tricks” at the start of our Yoga class. My “bag of tricks” is fully-stocked and contain my staples: pom-poms, stuffed animals, battery-operated candles, Really Stinky Feet Spray, talking stick, Tibetan bells, yoga shmat (the mat where shoes are placed), Hoberman Sphere, yoga deck of cards, straps, magnifying glass, butterflies, etc, and (of course), the scarves.

My bags of tricks didn’t always have the scarves. In fact, I taught my first few classes without them. They were something I had overlooked and forgot to order from Amazon when I was accumulating my props. I realized the need for them during partner poses. The traditional Yoga straps weren’t doing the trick. So, one day as I was preparing for my K-5 grade after-school enrichment class at one of the local schools, I decided to raid my 10-year old daughter’s closet. My daughter loves to accessorize and for a long time Justice was her favorite store. She had pretty scarves in just about every color and texture; some were sheer, others were solid knits that were soft to the touch, some were ornate with pretty sequins and tassels on them, while others looked more like oversized bandanas. I think I was able to score 16 of them that day!

I introduced the scarves during the partner poses. This particular class was all girls and they had a ball picking out thei14719745178_dfbf43fa9b_zr favorite scarf. We used them for straddle seesaw, partner boat and any other poses we could think of. When it was time to collect them, the girls asked if they could hold onto them. They enjoyed dancing around with them and some even wrapped them around their head or waist. And that’s when I got the idea to use them during Secret Garden (this is our savasana time).

The above mentioned class was held outside under a pavilion during aftercare. The 9 girls shared the class with a very distracting aftercare crowd of about 100 other kids. It was difficult to tune these kids out during our Secret Garden time. In an effort to help them relax during this special time of class, I went around and placed their scarves over their eyes. I feel that it helped to tune out the noise of the aftercare kids. And from that class on, they always asked for their scarves.

I was also teaching two kids classes once a week at a local studio. The first class had kids in K-4th grades; the second one was for kids in the 5th-7th grades. Although I used different outlines for the two different age groups, I always incorporated the scarves into class. The younger kids, of course, liked to pick out their scarves at the beginning of class and usually had a favorite. One tiny girl alwa17780248974_47e94c81d6_zys used hers as a blanket during Secret Garden. And the boys usually chose the more “masculine-looking” ones that resembled bandanas and had hues of blue or green in them.Even the older kids asked for the scarves, so we usually just broke them out for partner poses and during final relaxation.  Although this studio didn’t have the distractions like the after-school group, they still felt the need to escape during their savasana.

When I asked for feedback from the studio owner after my first few classes, it was very positive. She said the kids really enjoyed class and their favorite part was during final relaxation when they get to relax, meditate and wear their scarves!

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