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Thank you to Daily Cup of Yoga for featuring this article.
The Winter Olympics is here! Over the next few weeks, millions of people will tune in from all over the world to watch elite athletes try their best and go for the gold. Have some family fun with these Winter Olympics inspired yoga poses.
First, warm up your body from the inside with an Olympic breathing exercise. Athletes need to have a strong breath to compete at this level. Since it is the Winter Olympics, you need to breathe in deeply and raise your arms above your head in the shape of an O. Then, lower your arms and exhale strongly as if you are trying to see your breath in this winter weather. Repeat several times.
Now that your bodies are good and warm, it is time for snowboarding. Move into Warrior 2 Pose with your feet wide apart. Bend your front knee and extend your arms so they are parallel to the ground. For an extra challenge try to complete a 180-degree turn. Jump midair in this position as you switch lead legs. Try to have some “hang time!
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Have you ever met someone and within minutes could completely recognize a true heart of gold? Last month while attending the National Kids Yoga Conference, I got the pleasure of meeting Erin Hurley, an elementary school guidance counselor from Virginia.
She is the kind of counselor that any of you would love to have your children work with and learn from. Erin has a kind and creative spirit and truly cares about children.
Erin shared with how she has been using the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards when she works with students in the classroom. She has loved using the pose cards with her classes as they are visual and age appropriate.
Each pose card has a corresponding empowering mantra such as “I am strong” or “I am fair and equal.” This ensures that the students are not only receiving the health benefits of each pose, but also the mental and mindfulness benefits as well.
Erin shared with me one incredible activity and lesson plan that she did with her students that I wanted to pass along. This lesson could be done anytime throughout the school year, but would tie in nicely with the beginning of the school year, Thanksgiving or a kindness theme.
This lesson would work well with children ages 5-11.
Finally, the students were able to put the yoga poses and mantras together to practice and perform. This absolutely made the lesson even more memorable as it ties together so many different types of student learning such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning.
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Go Go Yoga for Kids was thrilled to be a part of of the 4th annual National Kids Yoga Conference (NKYC) which is held in the Washington DC area each Fall. This year the conference was held in Alexandria, VA, which is a quick 15-minute metro ride or car ride from Reagan National Airport.
This conference is designed for adults to bring yoga and mindfulness to our next generation. This is done through sponsors, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and vendors.
I also traveled completely on my own from Des Moines, Iowa, by plane, train (metro), and automobile (Uber). This truly allowed me to have an appreciation for different opportunities to try new things.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet and connect with so many different people from all over the US, Canada, and beyond. It made my weekend to hear the positive comments from others who have used our resources with the Go Go Yoga for Kids Guide, the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards or had taken one of our Kids Yoga 101 online courses.
It was an incredible feeling to be able to put real faces with names and hear about how they were using it with children. Hearing their stories really made all of the time, effort, and energy all worthwhile.
I loved meeting with the founder of International Kids Yoga Day, Teresa Power. I have been a yoga ambassador with this incredible event for the past two years. She amazes me with how much she has done to introduce yoga to children all over the year. She has also been a big supporter of Go Go Yoga for Kids so it was wonderful to actually meet in person.
Susan Verde, bestselling author of I am Yoga, was also there with her beautiful new book, I am Peace. She is the true example of bringing yoga and mindfulness to children in kid-friendly ways. Susan has also so kind to appreciate Go Go Yoga for Kids from our very beginning.
The people at NKYC are the real deal as they are kind, caring and inspiring. The breakout sessions are amazing, but it is truly about connecting with one another.
It made my heart happy to be surrounded by so many individuals that truly care about children and strive to give them the tools and techniques to be calm, mindful, and healthy leaders for our future.
You might also like: Quick Takeaways from the National Kids Yoga Conference.
Go Go Yoga for Kids loves all opportunities to bring yoga to children in fun and different ways. Toega is the perfect yoga game to play with all different ages.
What is Toega? It is yoga for your feet! Kids love this simple exercise and it is good for them as well. Feet are often scrunched up all day in shoes and socks, and Toega allows children to stretch their toes and build flexibility.
How to Play Toega
- Scatter the pom pom balls on the ground.
- Try picking up the colored balls with your toes.
- Then place the balls on your yoga mat or another flat surface.
When I play with Toega with kids, I like to change it up a little by having different challenges for the children. Sometimes I will challenge the older to kids to collect balls of the same color or size. Or I will have a time limit to see how many they can gather in 1 minute with their toes.
After the children have gathered up their pom pom balls, I like to bring a connection or close to the activity by having the children sort them in groups or “families”. I leave it open ended and it is neat to see what they come up with for ideas. They will often sort by size and color, but once in awhile I get an expected response and that is lots of fun.
By the way…I just LOVE my new Toega mat that I found here. It just makes it extra fun to play Toega.
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See more Toega in action at our Family Fun Day.