Ayurveda for personal and professional support
I started with creating a slideshow that could be presented as part of health class. The class would focus on “balancing through the senses” and offer ideas for a “toolkit for balancing.” In counseling we often talk about toolkits, and elementary school kids are an appropriate age for understanding the senses, so it seemed to me a good approach.
My presentation ended up containing 42 slides divided into sections based on the five senses. Each section contained information on what can cause imbalance, ways to counter that imbalance, and ideas of what one can put in a toolkit. But while creating, I realized that if kids were feeling out of balance at school there really wasn’t a place for them to go to calm down, utilize tools to balance, or even just take a break.
Making it come alive
Ideally I would be available to accompany students to what we ended up calling “the wellness room,” but for instances when I couldn’t, I created a binder with some tips (straight from Frawley’s book) on how students could take a balancing break if they were experiencing anxiety-related issues, such as inattention, aggression, anger, or sadness. I offered ideas for what scents they could diffuse, yoga poses they could try, and sensory items to utilize. We brought in a small frame with sand and water that could be rotated to watch the sand drip slowly down and reform at the bottom, some natural sorting stones, and putty for manipulation. I wanted to keep the items as natural as possible.
Now, with the space available to offer students, I was ready to deliver my presentation. The nurse, using information from the slideshow, made a fun Jeopardy game to do with the students to incentivize paying attention. Talking in front of groups is not my strength, so I took a note from my own pages and utilized the frankincense and sandalwood rollerball myself on the first day I would deliver the presentation!
Afterward, many of the students shared with me after that their parents used essential oils, or that they meditated or did some yoga at home, so I was very encouraged by the response. Most everyone retained enough to score points in the Jeopardy game and win a small prize.
A path to peace in a public school
This is just the beginning of my journey in Ayurveda and bringing the wonderful tools that it offers to my students. I feel more empowered than ever before to bring practical and effective skills to the children I work with to help them get through their day. I am grateful to be able to share this wonderful, timeless wisdom with the people who need it most, our children.