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a virtual trip to India
I met Carolyn Clarke at a fundraiser for Kids For Peace one evening and remember chatting with her on her book of guided meditations for little ones. I loved her energy and passion for it and was so happy to re-connect with her when she contacted Chai Mommas recently. Carolyn is a fellow children’s yoga instructor in San Diego and is the founder of Bambino Yoga and the author of the award-winning book Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids. Visit www.bambinoyoga.com for more information.
Here, she shares something so special with us all. She created a a virtual trip to India that any parent, caregiver, teacher or adult can guide their children through using the five senses without having to go on a 20 hour plane ride. Saying this though, if you are planning on taking a trip to India, there’s so much you’ll want to see and do, but you won’t be able to without a india tourist evisa. Be sure to do your research way ahead of your trip, just so there’s less stress and you can enjoy everything India has to offer! Plus, it shows your little ones that you can visit India any day and anytime. Hope you enjoy this and let us know if you take this virtual journey!
A Virtual Trip To India
By: Carolyn Clarke
I’ve always wanted to travel to India. Studying yoga for 18 years and teaching it to children for 12 years has made me long to visit its birthplace. I channeled this desire into a sensory experience that I use in my yoga classes to teach kids about yoga’s origin. You, too, may find it helpful if you want your kids to experience India but can’t afford to hop on a plane with your family. If your kids have been lucky enough to visit India already, this can help them reinforce the memories of that vacation. The virtual trip uses all five senses, and a special Indian-themed guided imagery story at the end will leave your kids relaxed and focused.
Sight: Pictures of India
Show your child where India is on a map or globe. Find pictures of India, either in a book or on the Internet. If you are on the Internet, pick out a few pictures to cut and paste into an India collage. You can find beautiful, colorful pictures online if you search for decorated elephants, women in saris, and spice markets.
Sound: Indian Music
Dance to Indian music in your living room or listen to the music as you do the other activities. I love the Putumayo Presents India album.
Smell: Guessing Game
I have been told by people who have travelled to India that they experienced a wide array of fragrances and smells. Have a virtual trip to India by playing a smell-guessing game with your kids. Use small opaque containers or use a blindfold so the kids are using only their sense of smell. For younger kids, give them a chance to smell each item first, and then have another round of smelling the scents in a different order to guess which items they belong to. Essential oils are fun to use for this game because many are actually sourced from India. Try any of the following:
Taste: Kid-Friendly Chai Tea
Experience a visit to India with a cup of tea. You can make it kid-friendly by using roobios tea (a caffeine-free red tea), instead of caffeinated black tea. This recipe is a mellowed-out version of chai, and kids love it. If your kids like their chai, experiment with adding extra spices. You can even try using a ready-made tea bag of the Yogi Chai Rooibos tea, but making it with your kids has a special feel of it’s own.
Chai Tea for Kids
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons roobios loose tea
2 cinnamon sticks
3 white peppercorns
2 cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
6 cups milk
Have the children help measure and count out each spice amount. Take time to smell each spice before putting it in the pot.
Bring water, spices, and tea to a boil. Remove from heat. Let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Add milk 6 cups milk. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Add a touch of sweetener (honey, agave nectar, or organic sugar).
Feel: Guided Imagery
Try reading this guided imagery relaxation story to your kids. The story will help them calm their bodies, and it will help reinforce all the things they experienced on their virtual trip to India. Ask them to lie down on the floor on their backs. Their feet should be a little farther apart than hip distance, and their arms should rest at their sides, palms up to the ceiling. Read the story slowly and softly with a soothing and melodic voice.
Flying Carpet Ride
Imagine you have a flying carpet.
Lie down on the carpet. It feels soft and fluffy against your skin.
Now imagine that your flying carpet will move when you ask it to move.
And it will stop when you ask it to stop.
Feeling very safe, you ask your carpet to fly to India.
If you don’t know where India is, that’s okay, because your flying carpet knows.
Feel your carpet rising up from the ground and starting to fly.
On your carpet, you travel over oceans and lands.
Your carpet begins to slow down when you arrive in India.
Ask it to gently float to the ground and land.
Take a look all around you.
The people are wearing brightly colored clothes—oranges, pinks, and reds.
Take a deep breath in and out.
The scent of curry, cinnamon, and lemons fill the air.
These smells are so strong that you can taste them.
When you listen, you hear the sound of a person playing the sitar and children laughing.
You see a man walking with an elephant.
The elephant is decorated with face paint.
Colorful flowers, stars, and swirls decorate his skin.
You look into the elephant’s eye as he passes you, and you imagine seeing him smile at you.
Take a minute to remember everything that you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel in India.
Now imagine that you climb back onto your flying carpet.
Ask your carpet to take off and then feel it gently land on the ground at home.