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New Year’s Resolution

I used to think that I didn’t need to make New Year’s Resoutions. “Why should someone who is continually trying to improve oneself partake in such a common practice?” I would say to myself. Over time though, through experience and careful reflection, I have come to realise how arrogant I really was. Therefore, I started this year by making a resolution to make New Year’s Resolutions every year from now on! I’ve made a plethora of other resolutions too but I’ll save them for future posts.

One of the great things about living in Japan is enjoying the New Year holiday and the traditions that come with it. Most notable being the customary visit to a Shinto Shrine or Buddhist Temple. On these visits, Japanese people, religious or not, generally pray to the deities for various forms of good fortune, such as good health, to pass tests or get married, in the year ahead – a New Year’s Resolution if you will. So what better way to kick off 2017 than to head down to the local temple and make some resolutions!

Souji Temple is the Eastern Headquarters of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism in Japan and is located on the West side of Tsurumi Station in Yokohama. I highly recommend it as a place to visit at any time of year, but its Setsubun event in February, unique Obon festivities in July, and traditional New Year celebrations, are worthy of note.

My wife and son enjoyed pulling fortunes, both of whom got Daikichi (Big Luck), while I enjoyed a latte from the coffee truck set up on site. Yes that’s right, a latte! To have such a drink in such a place at such a time, let alone sell one, was unheard of when I arrived in Japan nearly sixteen years ago but here we are today enjoying coffee at the temple.

It’s now April, a good portion of the year has already passed. I’ve started chipping away at my resolutions but am yet to realise any in full. I’ll work not only harder but also smarter in order to reach my goals. How about you? Have you fulfilled your New Year’s Resolution for 2017?

Graham

#newyearsresolution #goals #temple #japan #grahamshouse

Yoga Ed. Professional Institute 1 – Kids Yoga Instructor Training – at Graham’s House

I think all five of us (Kids Yoga Instructor Training Course Participants – who travelled from near and far, as far as Tochigi and Toyama Prefectures!) registered for the Professional Institute 1 not really knowing much about Yoga Ed. or what Kids Yoga really actually was, but we had all experienced the positive benefits of yoga in some way and knew that somehow yoga could be of benefit for children too.

私たち参加者5人は、(遠方(栃木県、富山県)から毎週来てくれている方達もいた)ヨガエド、そしてキッズヨガとは何かをまだ分からないままプロフェッショナル・インスティテュート1(指導者養成講座)に期待を持ち挑んだ。皆のひとつの共通点として同じだった事は、ヨガが今までの自分の人生に大きな良い影響を与えてくれたことだった。そして、現代のストレス社会に打ち勝つ力を、ヨガを通して未来の子供たちにも伝えたいと思っていた。

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It wasn’t long into Day 1 when our eyes, minds and hearts were opened and at the end of a long nine hours in the muggy Summer heat we were left salivating for more answers, knowledge and experience, but we would have to wait another week! This was because the thirty two hour course was held every Sunday in August from 09:00 to 18:00 at Graham’s House in Yokohama, Japan.

1日目が始まってすぐ私たちの目、気持ちと心は、ヨガエドとは何かお互いにすぐ感じ取ることができた。横浜にあるGraham’s Houseで8月の毎週日曜日、朝9時から夕方18時までという限られた時間とても暑い猛暑のなか長い9時間を終え、私たちの心はもっと知識がほしい、もっと聞きたい、もっと経験がほしい、色んな感情を得た。翌週まで待ちきれない思いでいっぱいになった。

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After one month of intensive study covering kids yoga theory, scientific research, child development – including anatomy and physiology, development of the brain and child behaviour – lesson planning, and yoga philosophy, not to mention stimulating lunchtime conversations and a whole lot of fun, we were ready to practice teach. Thanks to our amazing trainer, Geneva Hargreaves, and guidance from our translator, Akiko McLeod, everyone performed like stars, bringing their own natural touch to their lessons. The hardest part was shortening the classes to fit into the limited time available! Constructive feedback and support from Geneva, and each other, will help us to continually develop and refine our skills as Kids Yoga instructors hereon.

1週目~4週目にかけて、時間は1か月。トレーニングの日曜日以外は仕事や家事、育児もしつつ参加する方もいた。平日の時間をいかに有効的に使うかで、次のトレーニングでの理解力、吸収力が高まることも実感した。ヨガの理論、科学の研究,子供の成長を含めて、解剖学、生理学を学んだことはもちろん、いちばん興味深くそしてキッズヨガに重要なことは、子どもの行動と脳の成長に関連があるということを学んだ。レッスンの構成、組み立て方、ヨガフィロソフィーを学び、遂に最終日のプラクティスティーチングの準備が整った。素晴らしいトレーナージェニーバ先生と通訳者アキコさんのお陰で、皆さんが星のように自分らしく輝き、緊張しながらも安心してレッスンができた。レッスンをする上で、いちばん難しかったことは、限られた制限時間の中で自分の納得いくレッスンをすることだった。私たちが将来のキッズヨガトレーナーとして輝くための基盤は、ジェニーバ先生と他の参加者からの積極的なフィードバックとサポート。

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Also, on the final day we were surprised yet again when we were treated to lunch by Geneva at Kin Iro No Gogo, an Italian restaurant in Tsurumi. On the way there and on the way back, we passed through Tsurumi Jinja, the oldest Shinto Shrine in Yokohama, enshrining a Guardian Deity of Children (which we discovered for the first time, making the experience all the more auspicious!), where we stopped for photos, to buy souvenirs and to pray, in my case, for the success of each of us as Kids Yoga instructors, for the development of Kids Yoga in general, and for a world full of happy, healthy children!

最終日、ジェニーバ先生が私たちにサプライズで、鶴見駅西口側にあるイタリアンレストラン「金色の午後」に連れて行ってくれた。帰り道に由緒ある横浜最古の鶴見神社で写真を撮り、お守りを買い、皆で参拝した。ここの鶴見神社の神様は子供の守護神であることを初めて知り、またしても色んな繋がりに驚いた。私の心の中では、トレーニングに参加した皆のこれからの活躍と、これから世界中にキッズヨガが広がること、そして世界中のこどもの幸せと健康をお祈りした。

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Our emotions were stirred in the final session of Day 4, the last session of the course, when, just as in Kids Yoga classes, we expressed ourselves with words and through art and craft after deep relaxation, and also set goals for our future as Kids Yoga teachers.

最終日の最後のセッションでは、みんなの各々の感情が溢れ出しキッズヨガの授業と同じように、創造と言葉、アート、クラフトを通して自分の気持ちを表現し、またヨガティーチャーとしてのゴールと自分の未来を明確に書き出す時間もあった。

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Finally we were presented with certificates of completion of the Professional Institute 1 from Yoga Ed. Our training and development will never end but we all feel that we are ready to start to “EMPOWER CHILDREN WITH YOGA SKILLS BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR LIFELONG HEALTH AND WELLNESS.”

最後に、ヨガエドからプロフェッショナル・インスティテュート1の修了証書を無事頂くことができた。私たちのトレーニングとディベロップメント(人材育成)は、これから一生続け、努力するものである。私たちの使命は、「幼少の子どもたちや十代の子どもたちの健康と幸福を育むために」、すぐにでも飛び立つ準備はできている!

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Graham

#yoga #kidsyoga #ヨガ #キッズヨガ #yogaed #grahamshouse

English Kids Yoga Workshop 2

Our second English Kids Yoga Workshop was held on Sunday 12 June 2016. A big thank you to the children who participated and to Geneva Sensei for teaching us. The theme this time was “Finding Our Centre”. All of the games we played and activities we took part in were in some way related to our ‘Centre’. We did breathing exercises with balloons, found rocks in the ocean, danced around islands and sailed boats together!

6月12日に二回目のEnglish Kids Yoga Workshopを行いました。来てくださった子供達、教えてくださったGeneva先生 本当にありがとうございました。今回のワークショップのテーマは「自分の中心を見つける」でした。全部のゲームとアクティビティは「中心」と関係しました。このクラスではバルーンを使って呼吸をしたり、海の中で岩を見付けたり、島の周りを踊ったり、一緒に船に乗ったりしました!

After relaxation time we expressed ourselves through art again, our instructions this time being to create something connected to the idea of ‘Centre’. Although numbers were down on the the first workshop we had a great time! Thank you very much again to Geneva Sensei and to all those who came.

リラックスタイムの後には、アートを利用して自分を表現しました。今回のテーマ「中心」を考えながら皆さん素晴らしい作品を作りました。前回のワークショップより少人数でしたが、すごく楽しい時間を過ごせました!

We plan on holding Kids Yoga classes regularly from September this year so if you are interested in attending, or would just like to know more, please contact us via the contact form on this website. Graham’s House is also hosting a Yoga Ed. Kids Yoga Instructor Training course next month on 7, 14, 21 and 28 August. There are still a couple of places available so if you are interested in attending please visit  http://yogaed.jp/store/pi1-foundations-ja/  for more information and register ASAP.

9月からレギュラーのキッズヨガクラスを始めたいと考えています。興味のある方ホームページのコンタクトフォームを使って連絡ください。なお、8月 7·14·21·28日にキッズヨガインスラクタートレーニングを行います。詳しくは  http://yogaed.jp/store/pi1-foundations-ja/  まで。参加したい方は お早めにご登録ください。

English Kids Yoga Workshop 1

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Last Sunday the 15th of May saw our first English Kids Yoga class held at Graham’s House. We had a great turnout and I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a fantastic time! Thank you so much to all the boys and girls who came along and to the mothers who joined in too! Thank you too to all the parents who took the plunge and registered their children for this event. Last, but not least, thank you very much to Geneva Sensei who introduced Kids Yoga to us in a fun, firm and fabulous way!

先週日曜日5月15日にGraham’s Houseで初めてのEnglish Kids Yogaを行いました。たくさんの方が集まって下さり皆様楽しく過ごしていただけました。参加して下さった子供達やお母様方に感謝します。初めての体験に勇気をもって登録して下さってありがとうございました。楽しくて、優しさの中に厳しさもある素晴らしい指導をして下さったGeneva先生も本当にありがとうございました!

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As yoga was new to everyone who participated, the theme of Geneva Sensei’s first workshop was “What is Yoga?”. We learnt that Kids Yoga is Philosophy, Games, Breath, Asana (Pose/Posture), Teamwork and Expression. We played lots of games, we felt our breath and we listened to our breath, we went on an adventure and discovered that asana come from nature, we grew a beautiful forest together, we learnt how to calm down and relax, and finally we expressed ourselves through art and craft.

今回は皆様ヨガが初めてという事で『ヨガとは何か?』というテーマで進めてまいりました。キッズヨガでは哲学・ゲーム・呼吸・アーサナあるいはポーズ・チームワークと表現を知ることができました。たくさんゲームをして呼吸を感じたり聞いたりし、妄想の冒険でアーサナは自然から生まれたものという事に気付きました。全身を使って一緒にキレイな森を育て、どのように自分を落ち着かせるかリラックス方法を学び、そして最後にアート&クラフトで自分が感じた事を表現しました。

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Thank you very much again to everyone who came and participated. Geneva Sensei and I hope to see you, and also meet lots of new people, next month under the Umbrella of Respect at our second English Kids Yoga workshop on Sunday the 12th of June at Graham’s House!

参加して下さった皆様、まだ未体験の方々も来月6月12日第2回目のキッズヨガ尊敬の傘の下でお会いしましょう!

Graham

For more information about English Kids Yoga at Graham’s House please visit:  https://grahams-house.com/english-kids-yoga/

#yoga #kidsyoga #ヨガ #キッズヨガ #yogaed #grahamshouse

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Conversation Lounge Go!

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Today was the opening session of Graham’s House Conversation Lounge. I would like to say thank you very much to an old student of mine for coming along and a special thank you to her for the beautiful flowers she gave me for the occasion!

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It was great to catch up and I think I might have sparked her enthusiasm for studying and speaking English again, as upon leaving she said that she will come back this Friday!

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That’s right, for the time being, Graham’s House Conversation Lounge will be held every Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 and at a great price of only ¥1,000 per visit for the rest of February it is a great opportunity to start using your English in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

I hope to see you soon!

Graham

https://grahams-house.com/conversation-lounge/

#english #englishconversation #英会話

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Welcome to Graham’s House!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Graham’s House! The fact that you are reading this post means that you have taken the time to visit my website which I am very grateful for. Thank you very much! I am building the site myself, which is a first for me, and it is a work in progress so please drop by every now and then to check for updates and news and information from Graham’s House. I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts and observations on life from time to time and I am looking forward to communicating with you and the world through this medium, which, by the way, is also a first for me. So, until my next post, thank you very much again for visiting us and I hope to see you at Graham’s House soon! Graham

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お知らせ

今週の英会話ラウンジスケジュール

モーニングラウンジ
Wednesday 10 July (水)
10:30 ~ 12:30

ママ友ラウンジ
Friday 12 July (金)
09:00 ~ 11:00

アフターヌーンラウンジ
Friday 12 July (金)
13:00 ~ 15:00

土曜ラウンジ
Saturday 13 July (土)
12:00 ~ 14:00

時間変更ございますのでご確認ください。
宜しくお願い致します。

お知らせ

都合により明日と明後日の英会話ラウンジお休みさせていただきます。

金曜日 (7/5)
ママ友ラウンジ・アフターヌーンラウンジ
休み

土曜日 (7/6)
土曜ラウンジ
休み

来週のスケジュールは週明けにお知らせしたいと思います。
宜しくお願い致します。

お知らせ

9月の英会話ラウンジスケジュール

今月からママ友ラウンジ 火曜日(10:00~12:00)を 金曜日(09:30~11:30)に変更させて頂きます。

下のようにお休みの日もございます:

Friday (金) 9月 14日
ママ友ラウンジ
09:30 ~ 11:30
アフターヌーンラウンジ
13:00 ~ 15:00
お休み

Saturday (土) 9月 15,29日
土曜ラウンジ
11:00 ~ 13:00
お休み

宜しくお願い致します。

お知らせ

8月の英会話ラウンジスケジュール

基本的には土曜ラウンジを行いますが、平日のラウンジはお休みさせていただきます。

土曜ラウンジ
Saturday (土)  8月 4,11,18,25日
11:00 ~ 13:00
行います

ママ友ラウンジ
Tuesday (火)  8月 7,14,21,28日
10:00 ~ 12:00
お休み

モーニングラウンジ
Friday (金) 8月 3,10,17,24,31日
09:30 ~ 11:30
アフターヌーンラウンジ
13:00 ~ 15:00
お休み

宜しくお願い致します。