Describe Your Inner Butterfly. ~ Tracy Johnson

Via elephant journal
on Oct 8, 2012
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Photo: Brenda Olson

Using color imagery and the chakra system is a great way to work with children on an energetic level.

By encouraging them to imagine colors and then discuss them you, as a teacher or parent, can gain insight into where a child is emotionally and energetically so that you can be sensitive and responsive to them.

Over my years of teaching children I have never ceased to be amazed by how much you can learn about a child or how deeply they can express with the simple use of color. I have many different meditations and exercises that use color. This is one of my favorites because it also involves movement and creative play.

Butterfly Exercise

Lie on your tummy with your legs stuck together and your arms glued to your side.    Imagine what kind of caterpillar you are. What color are you? Do you have fuzz or is your skin smooth?

Wiggle slowly like a caterpillar but remember that caterpillars don’t have arms or legs and they are very small so they move slowly. Now, begin to weave your cocoon around your body. Weave it around until you are safe and warm inside your cocoon.

It’s time to rest. As you rest you can feel your body changing. Are you ready to come out of your cocoons?

Very carefully break open your cocoon. Your wings are very fragile so be gentle.

Sit on the floor with your feet together and knees apart. Imagine you are a butterfly.  Flap your wings and let them dry in the sun.

Are they dry? Good! Let’s fly up in the air. Fly up high and fly down low. Land on a flower and reach down to drink the pollen from the flower.

Now fly again.  Fly to your favorite flower and rest.

Everyone close your eyes and imagine your butterfly wings. What color are they? Do they have a pattern?


Polka dots?

Go around the circle and let each child tell what their butterfly wings look like or let them draw a picture of themselves as butterflies and/or caterpillars during free time.

The colors relate to the Chakra System (energetic locations along the spine that correspond to nerve plexi).  Each color relates to a different chakra and each chakra relates to a different area of the body and emotional state.

The color a child chooses can often give us insight into how they are feeling (this is not always true as I found out that at Willow River Elementary in Wisconsin that the color green can simply mean that they are a big Packers fan!)

Red:  E – safety, security, having our basic needs met; P – legs and feet

Orange:  E – creativity, emotion; P – hips, low back

Yellow:  E – sense of self, confidence, will; P – abdomen, digestion

Green:  E – love, compassion; P – heart, lungs, shoulders, arms

Blue:  E – communication, expression; P – throat, neck

Purple:  E – intuition, insight; P – head, eyes, brain

Photo: Brenda Olson.
Download for a coloring page.

Tracy Johnson has been exploring movement in its many forms since she began dancing at age 15. Her career as a dancer and choreographer led her to the study of Martial Arts, Massage Therapy and finally Yoga. As a Yoga Instructor she combines an understanding of anatomy and kinesiology with creative Vinyasa sequences rooted in the Ashtanga style and influenced by her many wonderful teachers. Tracy teaches yoga to kids and grown-ups in Western WI. She is the creator of Little Lotus Kids Yoga Cards and teacher training program She blogs about yoga, life and love at


Editor: Lara C.

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2 Responses to “Describe Your Inner Butterfly. ~ Tracy Johnson”

  1. […] it through movement. Children’s bodies naturally move, because their hearts feel good. Creative movement is the outward expression of positive emotion. Yoga with a little person reconnects you to the practice as a form of articulating the joy […]

  2. karen says:

    I have a 1 year old granddaughter and so excited to use this exercise with her when she is older.
    This is wonderful