Osani, The Circle Game
The picture was found on a greeting card that I found while living in Los Angeles. I swear I think I bought 5 or 6 copies and gave them to important people in my life. I was (and still am) drawn to this card, I am drawn to everything it stands for, I am drawn to the way it makes me feel every time I look at it and smile. I kept one copy for myself so that I could frame it and hang it on my wall. After purchasing the cards I showed it to one of my yoga teachers. She took one look and said “now, this is yoga” I couldn’t agree more.
Osani, is the name of the game, translated “Osani” is pygmy for “Love”. Osani is traditionally played by Efé children of the Pygmy tribe, in the Ituri Forest of Zaire. To play you sit in a circle with your feet facing inwards. The outside edges of your feet connected with your neighbors. One child starts the game by naming a round object. Ex. The sun, A ball, The moon, Your eye, etc. And then the child will also name a more figurative expression of “round” Ex. The cycle of the seasons, the circle of the family, togetherness, a baby in the womb, what they visualize as being a circle, the options are endless. As children are unable to come up with objects and terms that represent circles they will dropout of the game. Each will drop until only one player is left standing. In Pygmy tradition the last man standing will “live a long and prosperous life”.
The game is simple but it’s impact and it’s meaning are profound. Just by sitting close one another and feeling a connection with your peers. Finding meaning in something as simple as a circle and allowing a sacred space for love to circulate.
If you’re a teacher… Use this as an activity in your kids yoga class, sometimes a good dose of yoga for our minds is even more healthy than exercising yoga in the physical body. J
If you’re a parent… Invite your child’s friends over, veer them away from the television, away from the computer screen. Drag them outside the house and get them thinking outside the box!
If you’re a yogi… enjoy the picture