Djilba – Growing season, or the season of conception
Djilba heralds the beginning of the flower explosion that occurs across Nyoongar boodja each year and in particular, a time to look for yellow and cream flowers on mass. It is a transitional time of the year with some very cold and clear days combining with warmer, rainy and windy days mixing with the occasional sunny day. The Nyoongar seasons can be long or short and are indicated by what is happening and changing around us rather than by dates on a calendar.
What does this have to do with Yoga and Mindfulness?
Maybe the changing season is an invitation for you to be mindful of change in your life. Practicing awareness of ‘what is’ – the changing colours, temperatures – perhaps even moods – will allow you to expand on your capability to be mindful and experience the moment. Hopefully this invites you to reflect on where you are in your life and allows you to be present – with an open mind.
Today we’ve included in our monthly resource (currently a little irregular because we’re a little under the pump due to Covid-19 adjustments and ever evolving flexibility) some ideas on welcoming Djilba or Spring into your Aged Care or Classroom with Yoga and Mindfulness.
Djilba Yoga at School: Sun Salutes
Why not start the school day with a short sequence to warm up your whole body? This sequence disciplines the body through repetition, helps to wake up focus and can ‘reset’ unhelpful physical and emotional tension.
- Stand up tall, arms by my side.
- Reach up high, look to the sky. (breathe in)
- Down to earth, hands hang low. (breathe out)
- Heart stretch forward, inhale slow. (breathe in)
- On your knees, table pose. (breathe out/breathe in)
- Hips stretch back – Echidna shows. (breathe out)
- Belly slides forward, – breathe in slow and hiss like a snake (breathe out)
- Move to table – ready – go (breathe in)
- Hips go up – Dingo pose (breathe out and in)
- Feet step forward, body close (breathe out)
- Roll up high, look to the sun. (breathe in)
- Steady mountain, this is fun. (breathe out)
Repeat 2-3 times. Make this a fun and engaging warm up activity.
Option for Kindy or Early Childhood children: Use the Song Sun Salutations by Kira Willey © (Spotify). Remember to check your schools’ music licensing and copyright regulations.
- Sun Salutations – Dance for the Sun (x3).
- I can do it, you can do it, we can do a sun salutation.
- Stretch up high, wave to the sun,
- Hang down low, tickle your toe.
- Feet jump back, just like a frog.
- Belly on the ground, just like a snake.
- Look at the sun, now downward dog, and breathe and breathe.
- Feet jump up, just like a frog.
- Hang down low, tickle your toes.
- Stretch up high reach to the sun.
- Mountain pose, look what you’ve done.
This can also be adapted to the chair for older adults at Aged Care or community living. Or why not combining a class for the Young and Young at Heart, moving through mindful stretches supported by some gentle music providing fun, laughter and connection. Give it a go!
Djilba Mindfulness activity ideas.
These are fun things to do with all ages.
The only thing that is certain in life is that it is uncertain. We can find comfort in this unpredictability by choosing to focus on what is actually within our control.
One way to step away from our strange reality is by being more present – we can pause to find joy in the small things, especially during a season as lovely and inspiring as spring. Appreciating less is a good virtue to pass onto children and older adults as well, who are so often bombarded through the media and their peers about needing more stuff and more things to do to be happy. In Yoga – this practice is called ‘Contentment’. Being happy and grateful with what is.
Observational drawing is a key practice of the educational philosophy, Reggio Emilia. It involves captivating a child’s senses by noticing the details of an object and depicting it, starting traditionally with a pencil and then adding colour. Your Yogis can be given a choice of materials to complete their drawing – paint, markers, etc. The key is to draw realistically and as true to life as possible, which of course takes practice like everything else. When a person is fully absorbed in this artistic work, they are fully present and mindful of the object they are focused on.
This is also a beautiful activity for older adults with Dementia.
Consider using these prompts to help your students draw what they see.
- What colours do you notice? Shapes? Patterns? Shadow?
- Try starting with the outline and then draw the inside details.
- How big will you draw ____?
- What else can you see? What do you like most about the object? Do you notice (pay attention to different parts of this object)
Singing birds, blooming trees, swaying grasses — you can get it all within an hour of your house. Try to think about what you connect with the Djilba season. Start making a list of things you think you will notice.
Now – take this activity outside. Bring a pen and paper or a phone to capture some photos. Spy a bird, a snail, a tree, an insect, 10 different colours, 3 different smells, 5 different sensations of touch (e.g. the paperbark, the grass, the dirt, a pebble or rock … – get creative).
This fantastic activity helps you to expand on your lung capacity and breathing awareness. What you need: An environmentally friendly straw, paper, paint (water paint or washable paint is great as it’s a bit more runny). Older adults love this one too – encourage taking it easy and gentle!
- Get some paint (or make your own. Google has some great ideas)
- Pour several puddles of paint onto the canvas or art paper.
- Use your straw to direct the paint around the paper. Try blowing harder or softer, and from different directions. Try several different paint colours for a layered look.
Helpful questions to encourage exploration:
- How can you get the paint to move across the paper using only the straw?
- What sorts of shapes can you make?
- What do you think will happen when you blow this colour into another colour?
What shapes did you make? Can you make Yoga shapes with your blow-paint?
Please enjoy the Djilba Season and please share some of your activities with us on socials #yogazeit_australia and #yogazeitkids.
Your Yogazeit Team