This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine

It is January part of the darkest time of the year. The sun does not shine for many hours these days. This is the time of year I find myself drawn to lighting candles in my house to counter the lack of sunlight. It is also the time of year that I find more children signing up for my children’s yoga classes. Is this coincidental? This leads me to contemplate the importance of light. The light that shines down from the sun but also the light that is within us all.

I am a certified children’s yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. I began teaching weekly yoga classes at SSC six years for the preschool and kindergarten children enrolled at SSC in Hingham. I love my job. Each week about 45 children ages 3 – 6 attend a yoga class with me. Their beautiful spirits learn about valuable life skills like deep breathing, cultivating self-love, developing self-awareness, and being compassionate towards themselves and others without competition.

I sometimes ask the preschool children “Do we have light inside of us? Do we have a flashlight in us?” It is difficult to describe the abstract metaphor of the light within us, yet this is an integral concept in teaching the philosophy of yoga. I am reminded of it this week as I am singing and doing yoga poses to the song “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine” in my kids yoga classes. I asked the children ages 3-6 what does this light within mean to them. I relate it to what makes them smile or feel happy – a place, a person, an activity. I heard interesting responses like “It is my happy light”. Or “I feel my light when I swim with dolphins, play hockey, do gymnastics, play with my little brother, and am with my parents.” I am very moved that children as young as preschool and kindergarten can begin to be in touch with the light or spirit that allows them to feel joy in the world. I believe that children who are able to connect to their inner wisdom will feel more comfortable and content in this busy world we live in.

Searching for the light within is a great activity for this time of the year, a time of darkness. In our fast paced society it important for children and adults to take sometime for quiet reflection.   Perhaps this article will inspire you to look for your inner light.