Anyway, then I read a story to them. The story is usually some sort of fable/tale from another country. Afterwards, the students tell what they think the moral is, and then we act out the story with yoga poses.
The best part is the end when we do a relaxation exercise. Imagine. They're all lying on the floor, eyes closed, breathing softly. Then I give them some sort of imagery to focus on. One day it had to do with lying on the beach, and the waves filling their hollow bodies with sand, until they felt heavy, warm and relaxed. After this session, some of them are so relaxed they just want to lie there and not return to their lessons.
Here's one of the stories I read...
THE CRACKED POT – India
Once there was a farmer. Everyday he carried two pots down to the river to fetch water. Each pot hung on the ends of a pole, which the farmer carried across his neck. The first pot, he carried on his right. This pot was new and shiny and perfect in every way. The second pot, he carried on his left. Now this pot was older. So much older that it had a crack in its side.
Every day the new pot brought back a full portion of the water the farmer filled it with. But the cracked pot, leaked out water in a little trail behind the farmer in his long walk back from the stream to his house.
Day after day this went on. The perfect pot brought all the water and was proud of its accomplishments. But the cracked pot had only about half its water.
The little cracked pot began to feel terrible about itself.
“There’s something wrong with me,” the cracked pot thought The perfect pot brings back all the water. My master gets all his effort’s worth. While I am only capable of bringing half his effort. I am so ashamed of my imperfection!”
After two years, the little cracked pot could stand it no longer. Feeling like a failure he spoke to the farmer. “Master, I am so ashamed. I must apologize to you. I have only been able to deliver half my load because this crack in my side leaks out water all the way back to your house. My terrible flaw causes you to get only half the value of your work. You should just get rid of me!”
The farmer said to the pot, “Little pot, do not despair. Look behind you. Do you not see those beautiful flowers along the path I walk every day? They are on the left side, where I carry you. They are not on my right side.
Little pot, I have always known about your special feature. So I planted flower seeds along the path to the stream, and you have watered those seeds as I walked home. Thanks to you, every day for two years I have had fresh flower for my table. Thank you little cracked pot. You are very special.