Hannah’s Special Prayer

As a Kids Holy Yoga instructor-in-training, this is my first lesson sampled on my two daughters.  For those whom may be unfamiliar, Kids Holy Yoga is a combination of God’s Word interwoven with yoga poses to reinforce learning.  This balance of movement and reading is ideal for the reluctant reader as well as the reluctant exerciser and a medium truly loved by my two elementary-aged girls.

The story “Hannah’s Special Prayer” is taken from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling Bible StorybookI am a fan of this Bible storybook due to the length of the stories which are brief, but informational.  My eight-year-old enjoys reading the stories aloud once for other Holy Yoga Kids students before we incorporate the poses in a retelling.

Theme:  God Answers Prayers

Breathwork-  Starfish Breathing:  This involves the use of a child’s fingers.  A student breathes in as he/she traces up a finger and breathes out as he/she traces down a finger.  We did breathwork on both hands.  I used this breathing technique to reinforce the use of our hands when praying.

Warm-up:  The Lord’s Pray with yoga poses (Kids Holy Yoga Manual)

Our Father- Mountain Pose with hands at heart center

Who art in heaven- Mountain Pose with lifting arms up towards Heaven

Hallowed be thy name- Forward Fold

Thy Kingdom come- Halfway lifted with hands resting on shins

Thy will be done- Plank Pose

On Earth- melt into floor

As it is in Heaven- Cobra

Give us this day our daily bread- Downward Facing Dog

Forgive us our trespasses- Warrior One Right

As we forgive those who trespass against us- Warrior One Left

And lead us not into temptation- Forward Fold

But deliver us from evil- roll up slowly to Mountain Pose

For Thine is the Kingdom- Mountain Pose with arms reaching up towards sky

And the Power- Mountain with arms reaching left

And the Glory- Mountain with arms reaching right

Forever and Ever- Mountain with arms reaching back overhead with a gentle back bend

Amen- Mountain with hands back at heart center

Both of my girls thoroughly enjoyed this sequence, and my youngest was quick to comment how she hears this prayer in church.  I think this will be a great mnemonic device so that they can eventually memorize and internalize The Lord’s Prayer.  In addition, I like the use of hands at heart center as a means to reinforce the theme of this lesson, God Answers Prayers.

Pose Series to accompany “Hannah’s Special Prayer”-

Mountain Pose with arms at heart center

Camel Pose

Child’s Pose

Warrior 1 Right

Warrior 1 Left

Right Side Triangle

Left Side Triangle

Chair Pose

Child’s Pose

Happy Baby

Tree Pose with cactus arms right

Tree Pose with cactus arms left

Hero Pose

Cool Down-  I read the “Jesus Calling” portion at this time.

Crocodile Pose right

Crocodile Pose left

Resting- We completed the Snow Globe Meditation found in Lisa Roberts’ Breathe, Chill.  I emphasized how the glitter were our worries and/or troubles.  We then shake our snow globe and watch the glitter fall to the bottom of the mason jar.  This reinforces the idea of giving our upset to God through prayer.

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Conclusion- I gave each of the girls a small (50 cents for two) journal and told them they were our Prayer Journals.  I asked if each of us might write down prayer requests and praises, enough to fill the page.  Then, I asked if each student would like to share.  Not only were they happy to share, but they borrowed requests and praises from once another.  We then used these pages to compose a prayer together.  The goal is for each of us to fill out a page daily and then use the list for our prayer before bed.

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Women Food and God

While attempting to organize and clean over winter break, I discovered Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God under my bed.  To date, I cannot recall who gifted it to me, but I wish I did so that I could thank her.  A HUGE thank you to woman blessing Christie.  This book rocks, and I do not say that lightly.

Roth had me by page two, “. . . our relationship to food itself is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself.  I believe we are walking, talking expressions of our deepest convictions;  everything we believe about love, fear, transformation and God is revealed in how, when and what we eat.”

Roth, a New York Times bestselling author and leader of workshops teaching the seven guidelines of natural eating, shares how she gained and lost the same weight over the course of close to fifty years before she learned to step away from negative self-talk in place due to years of harmful verbiage from her parents as well as others.  Instead, she chooses to truly listen and trust herself through meditation, inquiry, and mindful eating.

Paraphrasing on my part, Roth poses such questions throughout such as, “Are you truly comfortable trying to balance food, hoping it doesn’t spill on your jacket, while driving your car?”  Instead, Roth urges her readers and retreat participants to truly pay attention, “Pay attention to what you value.  Pay attention to how and what you spend your time.  Your money.  And pay attention to the way you eat”  (16-17).

One retreat participant, a single fifty-something woman, questioned Roth on her philosophy of eating minus any distractions including music, literature, television, etc.  The fifty-something woman said she enjoyed reading The New Yorker while eating alone so as to prevent loneliness.  When Roth questioned her further as to why she felt eating alone equalled loneliness, the woman responded, “‘Anyone knows that people who are living alone at fifty-two years old are losers.  Complete losers.  When I read and eat, I don’t have to face the fact I am a loser'”  (185).  Roth explained if the reading and eating gave her pleasure, this would be fine.  Instead, what the reading and eating was inevitably doing was causing her pain because the participant was doing it to avoid her learned belief that eating alone resulted in harsh judgement from others.

I know;  deep, right?  Women Food and God is deep, but in an inevitable eye-opening way.  I was truly bummed when I had finished reading the Addendum.  Roth writes in a manner where the reader feels as if he/she has just met a new friend who shoots straight from the hip which, I believe, is the best kind of friend to have.