The United States of You: The Fifth Chakra

On Tuesday, we practiced exercising and expanding our throat center - the place of communication and personal creative expression. We began in the morning with a fun experiment using shaving cream, liquid watercolors, and wooden skewers to marble paper. Good thing we stayed outside for this one!

Our yoga instructor, Ruth, had us making lion breaths, shaking up laughter milkshakes, and practicing temper tantrums with our arms and legs. The whole floor was rumbling and shaking with our movements and our voices! 


Next we worked with paint chip strips to create collages, and practiced writing true stories about what we've made. Our special guest, Munira, returned to talk about the Happiness Quilt we'd be putting together, each with our own individual quilt squares. We started assembling the elements on felt after mapping our happiness. We also created more wish tags to hang up in the park a little later this week.

And the lovely clacking of typewriters echoed throughout Maude all day as everyone took turns. Gabi even composed an original song and sang it for us on the microphone after lunch, showing us by example how to be courageous and creative with our voices! She exemplified opening her 5th chakra perfectly! 



The United States of You: From Anger to Devotion

Day 3

For Wednesday's camp theme, we focused on transforming potentially fraught situations into focused, committed, and patient action. A particularly challenging yoga pose in the morning - Lean on Me - invited us to share weight and balance with a partner to rise up from our feet. (A lot of giggling was involved.) We were also treated with a special visit by writer, artist, and storyteller Christine Mason Miller, founder of the SwirlyGirl brand, and author of Plant Your Dreams and Miracles Will Grow, Ordinary Sparkling Moments: Reflections on Success and Contentment, and Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World. Christine led a book-assembly and collage activity and the girls spread out to every corner of the studio to work on their pages. 

After lunchtime, Christine facilitated a creating writing activity in which our strong selves addressed our vulnerable selves, giving advice and offering guidance about how to maneuver through difficulty. The weather cleared and we made our way outdoors, practicing the ancient art of Ebru, or paper marbling. We floated paint on paper using droppers and other tools to maneuver the colors, and watched as new shapes emerged from our movements. 


As we wound up our projects for the day, one of our campers, Tal, sang for us! She'd brought her guitar and played some of her favorite songs as well as an original one she'd composed on her own. We all sat on our yoga mats, blissed out by her singing, inspired not just by her self-confidence, but by her devotion to music - the desire to learn, the hard work of practicing, and the courage of sharing. We finished the day with the deeply restful and restorative Yoga Nidra meditation, which allowed us to come back to our own bodies, hearts, and minds and celebrate all of the ways our contributions are important to the whole.