WORKING WITH THE STORY "The Cracked Pot "
Use this story as the beginning of a practice to set a theme of loving and accepting ourselves and appreciating others for their uniquness.
Use the story separately as part of a yoga nidra session. Allow discussion, personal storytelling and writing exercises to follow.
FOR PRESCHOOL – KINDERGARDEN – Tell the story in as simple terms as possible. Focus on the characters and their essential actions without too much detail. Create special voices for each character, and make up a special movement or sound each time a character enters and encourage children to participate by performing the movement or sound and “help” you with the story,
Retell the story with the yoga poses below.
FOR GRADE 1-5 - Tell the story in its entirety. Use the poses below as you recall parts of the story during yoga practice.
YOGA POSES FOR THE CRACKED POT
Use either the yoga poses or do any variety of yoga poses while talking about the story. Who is the story about? What happens? What happens next? How does the pot feel? Have children notice the uniqueness of their own style, form and body in the poses.
POT - Be yourself! Love yourself! Warrior I, Virabhadrasana I
FARMER– Warrior III, Virabhadrasana III, he's kind and sends out love. Send love to another person with arms extended out in front of you, hands together with index fingers together and pointing out. "Shoot" love to another person in front of you.
TRAVELING– Triangle, Trikonasana
RIVER– Take a ride down the river with boat pose, Navasana.
FLOWERS - Create a flower out of a yoga pose! anything goes! Feather dancer, Natarajasana,– Camel pose, Ustrasana
Depending on the age of the children, add additional poses in between or after if you wish.
Thought watching: Have children focus on their breath. Guide them to notice their thoughts. Urge awareness of thoughts by asking them to notice the thought and label their thoughts as "thinking." Guide them to bring the children back to their breath and the space that is "BETWEEN" the thoughts.
Ask them to be aware of any negative thinking. Have them notice the negative thinking and the feeling behind it, then change the thought to something positive and feeling good. Ask them to visualize a shield they wear, or they can use their arms to fend off negative thoughts, much like an action figure fending off villains or bullets. Have them fend off these negative emotions, that never reach this spacious, happy feeling within.
They can Garden their thoughts, pull out weeds when they notice negative thinking.
Ask children to sit with their eyes open, look to their right and just observe what is in front of them. Ask them not to start thinking, judging, wondering about what is in front of them. Ask them to just observe, breathe and feel their bodies.
Use a limberjack toy, clapping or singing and create a mantra of self confidence.
I belive in myself.
I love myself. All is well.
Have children listen to the Story Siesta of the cracked pot.
YOGA NIDRA Visit this link for more information about working with the Cracked pot and other stories with relaxation for children.
DISCUSSION AFTER ASANA and/or SHAVASANA
Ask the questions and have children respond orally, or have children journal their answers first.
You can also use “Think. Pair. Share” and have children think about their answer, pair up to discuss their answers, then share with the class.
- How are we like the Pot? Make a list of things we feel are flawed about ourselves.
- How can we let go of thinking we are inferior, to changing it to that our gifts are special ?
- How can our gift serve others?
- Our culture prefers perfection and order. What would our world be like if everything were the same? How can we let go of the need for perfection?
- Observe things in nature. Observe the diversity and difference in everything. Observe everyone, notice the differences in clothing, eye color, shape of the nose, texture of the hair. Notice how we are the same. We have two eyes, we have all the same bones, liver, etc.
- Self hug. Let children embrace themselves with their arms and give themseleves a big hug. Have them repeat, "I am good enough, I have value."
- How are we like the farmer or the perfect pot? How can we help others, as the farmer did, find the goodness within? How does perfection make us feel above others and cause problems?
Have children script dialogue to the story and act it out using yoga poses.
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