The transition from summer to fall has a lot of personal emotion attached to it BUT it’s hard to deny the natural beauty around us here in the Northeast. As October turns to November the leaves are colorful and gorgeous, and our sidewalks are covered in these leaves. The weather gets crisp and cool but warm still from the sun, it’s really hard not to love it. I go into it with hesitation, but when it’s in full swing, I fully embrace it. Maybe it’s because the early fall symbolizes the loss of our first child Silas, while the late fall symbolizes the birth of our son Zephyr. This later fall time makes me really happy and I LOVE celebrating it with my yoga kids. So I continue the leaf meditations way into the later part of fall when the leaves are really covering the earth and some trees are becoming naked while others are still bright and full.
So here it is, my ode to the leaf with a leaf meditation and fall themed kids yoga class. Enjoy!
Loving the Leaf
(preschool -2nd grade)
- Place all the leaves in the middle of the circle. Let kids choose their own leaf and bring it back to their mat.
- Leaf Meditation: Ask the kids to observe their leaf. Ask questions (for the preschoolers) or let them share what they notice (k-2).
ask – “what color is your leaf?” “do they all come from the same tree?” “do you know what trees these came from (share each tree!)”
“hold up your hand, how many fingers do we have? look at your leaf, does your leaf have fingers? how many?”
“what else do you notice?”
- Rollercoaster Take 5 with your hand and a leaf:
First hold your hand in Take 5 (fingers outstretched). Place your other pointer finger at the bottom of your thumb. Inhale and slowly bring your pointer to the top of your thumb.
As you exhale, move your pointer down your thumb, as if it were going up and down the hills of a roller coaster. Continue tracing every finger, inhaling and exhaling as your pointer moves up and down. Then show the kids how you can do this with a leaf!
Zephyr and I share it here:
4. Tree pose: Naturally we need to do a tree pose, imagining the leaf we chose came from our own tree. Lift those tree branches high to the sky and imagine those colorful leaves growing off of your branches.
5. Squirrel Pose: Who lives in your trees? The squirrels of course. Start at the bottom on your tree (squat down) and then run and climb to the top! Stretch your arms up and grab some of those acorns. Put them in your mouth, but don’t swallow! Run down the tree as fast as you can and bury those acorns. Repeat 2x.
6. Warrior 3 Pose: Imagine you are a bird, any kind of bird living in your tree. Let’s try to balance on one leg. Bring your wings out to the sides and lift one leg out behind you. Imagine your bird flying, maybe even getting ready to migrate somewhere warm! Switch sides. You can also let them fly around the circle.
7. Eagle Pose: Imagine you are a beautiful Eagle with outstretched wings. Cross your legs and give yourself a hug. Open your wings and fly around the circle. Repeat on the other side.
8. Leaf Relaxation: Use your leaf as a breathing buddy and let the kids place it on their bellies. Ask them to notice the leaf moving up and down as they breathe. Read “A Fall Day” meditation from the book Imaginations 2 by Carolyn Clarke.