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octoberpilot

Using Loving-Kindness to Disrupt Negative Patterns

This week, I was lucky enough to practice mindfulness and yoga with a small group of teens. The theme of our class centered on creating freedom: within ourselves (physically and mentally) and off the mat, in the world. We discussed the importance of awareness and acknowledgment as a first step in creating change. Another part of the practice centered on loving-kindness. The importance of this work, and its role in creating a more caring, connected human race, is huge. Thank YOU, being a part of it.

As we once again grapple with awareness of the unacceptable consequences of bias and racism in this country, I’d like to highlight a practice you have access to through all levels of the MOSST curriculum. My hope is that as a community, we can stay aware, and disrupt patterns of fear, division, and bias through teaching practices like loving-kindness and helping others learn to de-escalate emotions with yoga and meditation.

Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, is a practice that helps create pathways in our brains and bodies that enable us to be more compassionate to ourselves and others. Check out this article to learn more about its science-backed benefits.

You will find scripts and videos for loving-kindness practice in Week 3 of the Pre-K and Elementary curriculums, and in Week 7 of the Secondary curriculum.

I invite you all to take a moment right now for a brief meditation.

  • Find a comfortable seat, and place your hands in your lap.
  • Take three breaths, in through your nose, and out with a sigh. Close the eyes if you wish.
  • Think of someone you love and feel positive about. Imagine that they are with you right now, and repeat these phrases silently or aloud: “May you be happy. May you be peaceful. May you be strong and happy.”
  • Notice any sensations in your body. Maybe it’s warmth in the chest or feeling a smile.
  • See if you can maintain that feeling of loving-kindness, and bring to mind someone who might cause you some frustration. Again, repeat these phrases silently or aloud: “May you be happy. May you be peaceful. May you be strong and healthy.”
  • Now imagine a mirror in front of you. You are looking into your own amazing eyes. Repeat these phrases for yourself: “May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be strong and healthy.”
  • Again notice sensations in the body.
  • When you are ready, take three more deep breaths, and rejoin your space.

May all beings and without exception be happy and free from suffering. And may our thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way.

 

by Melissa Menke, RYT200, pictured above, is a United Airlines pilot and the Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® Manager of Trainings & Teacher Development.

Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® Digital School

yoginos.com :: melissa@yoginos.com

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