*Note* The below blog post is a guest blog from our friend Cheryl Crawford, Co-Founder of Go Grounded Yoga for Kids & Teens. Her blog below is based off of a children’s yoga class that she teaches using the story of “Charlotte’s Web.” This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Cheryl!Charlotte’s Web
is a celebration of the quiet virtues. It reminds us to keep a soft tender heart, to accept our true nature and to value the unique gifts of our friends. The two main characters of Charlotte’s Web
, Charlotte and Wilbur, highlight the awareness of our own unique inner story.
Charlotte, the spider, represents our highest self who provides wisdom and help from above. She reminds us that we are never alone. She provides a higher, bigger perspective from her vantage point up in the rafters. She brings a calm wisdom into an anxious situation, bolstering Wilbur’s self image by spelling out his best aspects. She represents our INHALE.
Become sensitive and aware of your breath.
Wilbur, the pig, represents our vulnerable self that is at the center of our awareness. Wilbur is consistently caring and engaging. He forms a bond with Charlotte because he sees her beauty. He is accepting and compassionate and joyfully celebrates life. He represents our EXHALE.
“Salutations” is Charlotte’s fancy way of saying Hello. In Yoga, we practice Sun Salutations, not so much to be fancy, but to gracefully pay homage to the brightness within and to mindfully connect our breath to our movements. This is how we brighten what can at times seem ordinary and mundane.
Cheryl Crawford, Grounded Yoga
Curious how to greet each moment with more elegance? Try this. Connect with your breath while moving through a sequence of poses we call the SOLID GROUND FLOW (pictured below).
Symbolic of the circular aspect of time, twelve poses are arranged in a clockwork fashion to say Hello, or Salutations as Charlotte would say, to the Sun.Starting at the 12 o’clock position in Mountain pose. Introduce yourself to your breath. Invite your breath to BE IN CHARGE! Allow your breath to lead your movement in this Salutation to the Sun. Exhale and soften into your back body with humility and remembrance of your wise supporters.
Make each inhale full and each exhale complete as you move to each subsequent pose in a clockwise fashion. With each breath in, move your side ribs back, inflate your middle back and with trust move into your back body until you feel the strength of that support.
The back body represents our colorful cast of teachers whose caring attention beneath the surface was magical and supportive.
With each breath out, soften your skin, your eyes, your jaw. Get longer, smoother, deeper until you feel an opening in the front of your heart to offer the world. Completely release what stands in your way. Your front body represents how you offer your unique gifts.
Grounded Yoga Practice
When you allow your breath to lead your movements you will become more attentive to “miracles when they happen in the midst of our ordinary days,” as Charlotte says. You’ll feel more elegant and fancy and radiant. Just like Charlotte. That’s how you want to greet each moment.Charlotte’s Web is about the deep friendship of a rescued pig and an articulate spider. On the surface, Wilbur is a runt. Charlotte is a spider. Dig deeper into their friendship and see how their mutual appreciation is absolutely genuine.
This story shows that each of us can be RADIANT and TERRIFIC when we breathe deeper, love deeper and live deeper. Charlotte did not create Wilbur’s fine qualities. She just noticed them. He even protested that he did not feel particularly terrific, but she knows better. It reminds us in moments of smallness to ask for support from the Highest, and in moments of glory to remain HUMBLE. It reminds us to celebrate our true qualities and express them more fully.
May you find your fine qualities deep within your heart and offer your compassion to your valuable friends.