Young yogis are familiar with the word “Namaste” well before they understand the meaning. Namaste is a Sanskrit word meaning “I bow to you”. In yoga class, we use it as a greeting and farewell to honor the light in one other and feel connected. Here are a couple of fun activities to help children understand the meaning of Namaste.
The Mirror Game
Pair your children up. Have them sit criss-cross, facing one another, knees almost touching. Next, have them rub their hands together briskly, creating a lot of friction. Once their hands are nice and hot, tell them to almost touch their partner’s palms. Even though there is space between their hands, have them close their eyes and FEEL the energy flow between the two of them. Finally, tell them to open their eyes and begin moving their hands slowly, becoming mirror images of one another.
Still in a pair, have the children sit back to back, still in the criss-cross position. Tell them to close their eyes and FEEL the other person’s breath through their back. Challenge them to connect with their partner silently, trying to breathe at the same time as each other. Next, have the children interlock elbows with one another. Once connected, encourage them to work together to get to a standing position. Once standing, choose one child to be “the blind man” and the other “the leader.” Still back to back, have the leader guide the blind man slowly around the room, then switch roles.
Buddhaful Child Yoga