Make Way for Ducklings
Walking Meditation or Make Way for Meditative Ducklings
We had just finished a guided relaxation and my young yoga students lay still on their mats. Time for walking meditation I thought. To prepare for this, I asked my students to roll up their yoga mats and stand quietly in mountain pose (feet firmly grounded, arms hanging loosely by their side). Then I began to slowly walk around our room. With all eyes on me I quietly repeated, "Heal, toe pad, toes," over and over as I made my way around the room in a wide circle. "Watch, listen and follow me," I then guided my students. The room was immediately filled with energy as my young yogis started wandering around the room, into the corners, up near the piano; each in her own quiet space. Like a school of minnows, disturbed in their pond, each young student was now swimming in his or her own direction, breathing excitedly. As I attempted to regain some sort of order and move us into meditation I directed them, "Now, breathe in and lift up your heal, then your toe pad, and finally your toes.....breathe out and place down your heal, toe pad, toes...." I thought about the first time I tried to synchronize my breath with my walking in an adult yoga class. I was in quiet hysterics as I struggled to get my toes and my breath to work together while listening to my masterful yoga teacher, walking with perfect synchrony, direct us and perfectly model, "Breath, heal, toe pad, toes. Breath, heal, toe pad, toes." Kids learn so much quicker and with less judgment. Within a few minutes their feet and breath were in tandem. "Swans dancing in the springtime rain, I thought to myself," as they gracefully made their way around the room in a meditative walk. After a few minutes I sensed the space between us had changed and so turned around to find that all my sweet young yoga students had cued up behind me, with just inches separating me from them and them from each other. We continued on, "Breath in, heal, toe pad, toe...breath out, heal, toe pad, toe," for the next few minutes but all I could think about was that famous sculpture in Boston Public Garden where the mother duck leads her ducklings, all lined up behind her, around the park. "Make way for meditative ducklings," I smiled to myself as we continued to quietly walk through the room. Make way, indeed.