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Monday, November 9, 2015

Teaching kids gratitude. One studio's hands-on approach

Gratitude Tree at Shine Kids Yoga
When thinking about how to focus her little yogis on gratitude this November, Shine Yoga Kids studio owner, Amy Hough decided to construct a “Gratitude Tree."

“It started with bare branches. As the leaves fall outside the studio, I invited children, parents and my yoga teachers to hang leaves that represent things that they’re grateful for each time they attend class,” says Hough.

The written responses have been endearing. 
“Kids are thankful for their family, friends, pets, doctors, hospitals, and teachers. I encouraged them to think on a larger scale – for air, nature, trees, your heart – things we may take for granted day to day,” says Hough.

Amy Hough and yogi student
The ongoing activity has sparked discussion and focused students on cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

“I think embracing gratitude is something that can change your mood. If something negative happens – like your mom isn’t letting you stay up late to watch a TV show, you can find reasons to be grateful in such situations, such as, your mommy loves you and you’ll have a good night’s sleep,” says Hough.

With Thanksgiving upon us, “My goal in having this tree is that we all notice how much we have to be grateful for in our lives,” says Hough. “By the end of the month, I’ll reveal a picture of the bare tree we started with and how full with love and appreciation it is when we finish. I’ll probably take the leaves and make a permanent mural for the studio as a symbol.”


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