It’s the last 3 hours of Passover so all I can think about is eating something yummy like ummmm, uhhhhhh, a grilled cheese samich or a slice of pizza! During Passover, as many of you might know, Jewish people refrain from eating bread and all leavening. Well, there are many other things we can’t eat. But the one that hurts the most is bread. Now as you might know I come from a long line of bagel bakers. In fact my dad and his family were the first to freeze a bagel.
So… growing up in the Lender household my mom worked extra hard during Passover to make foods that were really yummy to make up for the HUGE loss we were experiencing. She was really creative. I learned a lot from her. So in a typical Kidding Around Yoga class we also spark this creative gene and teach our kids how to bake, cook, make healthy sandwiches and eat yummy foods. Although I and many of the kids yoga teachers at Kidding Around Yoga are in fact vegetarians, we never use that word or even encourage the kids in our yoga classes to become vegetarians. We simply teach them what type of foods grow in the ground or on a tree. Seems like a great place to start, right? You might think this is elementary but seriously, some of these kids think that Ham grows on trees. When I was leading the Kidding Around Yoga teacher training in Costa Rica the teachers in my class told me to forget about making sandwiches that were healthy. Jamon y Queso was all I was going to get from the kids, and they were right! In a typical kids yoga class this is how we make sandwiches… we sit on our tushies and reach for our toes, then as we lift arms up, inhale and on the exhale we blurt out the name of our sandwich. It’s hysterical to go around the room and see what kind of sandwiches the kids make. I did once hear a kid say he was making a “fart sandwich” but don’t get me going on that.
We do try our very best to keep them healthy. Inhale up… Exhale…Humus, avocados and sprouts! Inhale up… Exhale… Almond butter and Jelly. Oy I’m getting a little hungry just thinking about it. My kitchen is a pretty good mix of organic yumminess, lots of rice, beans and greens for us. And every once in a while some “Chazerai”… that’s Yiddish for “garbage”. But we occasionally make our own ice cream, and both of my kids are chefs and bakers so thankfully they picked up some tips from mom along the way. Folks always ask me how I got my kids to eat healthy foods when they were little. Here’s one of my favorite techniques. When they were REALLY little I used to have candle light dinners for them. I played really pretty music, put a table cloth on the table and lit our best candles. I would make them something like spaghetti or vegetarian chili and man you could hide almost anything in there if it was dark enough. They thought we were having a really special meal. And we were! YUMMMY! Crumbled tofu in your spaghetti sauce. What could be better than that? And nobody knew! I’m a freakin genius right? Actually now I know better. Tempeh is so much better for you. So when we make sandwiches in our kidding around yoga classes and in our kidding around yoga teacher trainings I always make a Tempeh Rubin.
Ok all of this is making me hungry and making me think about one of our very best songs. It’s called Yummy Yoga. I worked so hard on this song. I knew I wanted to feature my Guru, Swami Satchidananda in this song. The theme of the song was supposed to be a take off on his favorite expression. “Truth is one, Paths are many”. It has an international flair and teaches children that while we may all be different we are also very much the same. So I figured what better way to teach kids than through their tummies. In this song we fly around the world in “flying pose” and then we roll up in our mats like burritos, or crepes, or yup you guessed it… BAGELS. Tic Toc Tic Toc… Passover is almost over! Watch a video of what this fantastic activity for kids looks like. Listen closely because Swami Satchidananda himself is featured in this song.
You can find and buy the song here.
If you are a kids yoga teacher or just want to have fun in your classroom or at home with your kids use this song to share the gift of Yoga. No not just the gift of Yoga but the gift of Kidding Around Yoga. Because as we like to say: “We didn’t invent yoga for kids, but we sure did perfect it”. This song offers the best of stress management for children. I mean who doesn’t love to roll around on the floor and tuck yourself up inside a yoga mat real tight? Kids love Yoga. Kids love music. We love Yoga and we love kids and music. It all comes together like Bagels and Cream Cheese. Oh man there I go again! Alright it’s almost sun down…..ShalOMMMMMMM