by Zefea Samson
Every year, with the arrival of the Spring season, I play a special game with the children in my kids yoga class.
And it’s their favorite thing!
We talk about the birth of life and what nourishment is needed for plants and living creatures to grow. Water! Food! Oxygen! Soil! Each child gets to contribute an answer.
I also add that a lot of patience is required for growth.
From there I ask the children to close their eyes and envision their favorite, most beautiful flower. They curl up on the floor, pretending to be a little seed, while I turn on sounds of rain. The children are instructed to be very patient, while rain fills the room!
I walk around the circle and tickle their backs one by one, like gentle raindrops replenishing the seeds. I can see how hard it is for them to just be still and quiet and not move.
“Wait until you hear the rain stop,” I say, “and then you know the sun is coming out.”
Once I change the music, that is their cue. I quietly turn down the rain sounds and turn on a Beatles classic hit, ‘Here Comes the Sun’. “Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo) / Here comes the sun, and I say/ It’s all right.”
As slowly as they can, the children start to stretch and grow into their favorite flower. They start swaying and dancing.
The excitement never fails! “Again, again, let’s do this again!,” they call. I love seeing the huge smiles on their faces after the build up of anticipation.
When Spring comes around I feel just like these little kids.
We had a real rainy winter in California for the first time in years! And the Spring that has followed is equally abundant. Bursts of colors everywhere where wild flowers grow. Each morning begins with a cacophony of birds singing. Our cat is jumping and prancing around the backyard chasing butterflies (or he just shamelessly and lazily sprawls out to bask in the sun!)
I just love to sit and watch all of the joyful activity. I also can’t help but walk around taking photos of the funny colored caterpillar, my own children bouncing on the trampoline or a new flower that just budded.
The same way those flowers burst out of their buds, the Spring season sparks our hearts to burst open. When I think of practicing yoga, I choose postures that give me the same feeling of celebration – postures that are playful, adventurous, alive and make me feel like a kid jumping around with excitement.
Want to know my favorite Spring postures? Visit my next blog, “Bursting into Spring.”
Zefea had her first experience with yoga at the age of 4 when her parents practiced with renowned teacher Angela Farmer in the Iyengar tradition. She forgot about yoga during her teens and twenties and trained for boxing and the combat system Krav Maga. Zefea rediscovered the benefits of yoga when she started practicing Bikram Yoga in her home town Amsterdam. From 2006-2008 she represented the Netherlands as the Dutch gold medalist in the International Yoga Championships, finishing in the world's top 10. Zefea experienced new depths of yoga through practicing while pregnant (up till the day of giving birth).