scream-2Recently I had the honor of sharing yoga with 80 children at a public school in my area…at once. I’ve taught some large classes, but they were always indoors and never more than 60. What’s twenty more, outdoors, next to a train track and an interstate? Add a megaphone and it was nothin’ but a thing.
We did the usual warm-ups, partner poses, two group relay activities, and then, maybe one of the most powerful things I’ve ever included in a kids’ yoga class. With two groups of forty holding hands on opposite sides of the football field, we screamed. We screamed at the top of our lungs over and over again. We screamed for Peace. We had a “contest” to see which group could scream our meditation “Peace Begins With Me” the loudest. We did three skin-tingling rounds, and when we finished I had tears streaming down my face and goose bumps all over.girl-899983_1280
I heard kids and teachers say things like, “Boy, that felt good” and “I needed that.” I have been told in the past to scream into my hands when I was upset and then finish with a positive affirmation or meditation to clear any negative energy and relieve stress. After seeing the relief on the faces of many, and seeing how easily they laid down in their final relaxation, I knew there had to be something to it. Yelling is often seen as negative, and children are often told to keep their volume down in almost all parts of their day.
We often associate yelling with anger and screaming with fear. When we yell in anger we are projecting our own emotions onto the receiver of our vocalization, and we are often out of control. When we yell with the intention of letting off some pent up stress, we are in control. We aren’t projecting any emotions onto another person but simply opening the lid on the teapot, so to speak. Talk therapies deal with the memories of stressful events, which reside in the cerebral cortex. Primal therapy actually deals with the source of painful emotions, stress, and even trauma which are stored on a deeper level in the central nervous system.
scream-1   I’m not saying I was doing anything revolutionary here, but the fact remains, the screams brought peace to their bodies and minds. The screaming allowed them to release that last bit of energy so they could relax amidst 80 children, outside, on the grass, with a train and cars moving all around them. Give yourself, and the children in your life, the chance to let out all the stored frustrations in a scream. Get outside, climb a mountain, go to the beach, stand by a loud train, or scream into a pillow. Just let it out. Scream for Peace.

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