Spring is here and with that comes the beautiful power of a rainstorm. I love a good rainstorm as it washes away the dirt, build up and leaves behind beauty, green, and a fresh start. It is fun create a thunderstorm with my kids yoga classes toward the end class right before settling into savasana. It completely quiets the class, mesmerizes them and they feel empowered as they are the ones that created it. This activity also utilizes many of your five senses which is wonderful in helping you feel aware and present.
Sit in a close circle with the lights off. Start with step one and the child on your right does what you are doing. Continue around the circle with each student adding to it. After the sound has made it around, continue onto step 2. I like this progression as it shows how the storm ebbs and flows.
How to create a thunderstorm:
- snap your fingers (the sound of light rain falling)
- clap your hands together
- slap your hands on your legs (at this time a student can flick a light switch on and off to represent lightning). They love this part!
- stomp your feet
- slap your hands on your legs and stomp your feet (this represents the strength of the storm)
- stomp your feet
- slap your hands on your legs
- clap your hands together
- snap your fingers
- rub your hands together (the wind)
- open palms (all is quiet)
This is fun to do with a Yoga Kids Springtime or a Jungle Theme. Have fun with it. This is something that your kids yoga classes can do over and over again and still be amazed by it.
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I just love this little cartoon. Check out the poor donut’s expression. Panic? Worry? Self-Consciousness? Yoga looks differently for everybody and that is just one of the many different things I love about yoga. Walk into any group of kids practicing yoga and most often you will find kids that are uninhibited to try new things, taking risks and being a little different. Let’s all embrace our inner child when it comes to yoga and to life. Smile. Be Free. Be the first to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. Try it out. See how freeing it feels!
Our Earth is a beautiful place and should be recognized and celebrated, especially on April 22nd! What better way to do that then with some kids and yoga?! The following are simple yoga poses that can be done at home, school, or a yoga class to help children take a few moments and appreciate our Mother Earth.
Breath: Begin by some simple breaths in your nose and out your mouth. Discuss taking in all of the good clean air that our Earth provides and exhaling all of the unclean and negativity.
Sun Salutations: Begin in Mountain pose with arms overhead and looking up between your hands. Then dive into a forward fold. Do this several times and try to get longer and taller each time. Breathe in on the way up and exhale as you move into your foward fold.
Tree Pose: Put a spin on this classic balance pose with arms extended overhead and try to close one or both eyes. Tree pose is also fun done as a group in a circle with hands on one another’s shoulders supporting one another. Raise your arms (branches) up as if lifting toward the sun.
Flower: Begin as a seed in child’s pose and slowly come into kneeling pose as if you are an emerging flower. Extend your arms overhead as if they are petals waving in the breeze.
Bicycle: Be green and pretend to ride your bike to school or the park. Lie on your back and move your legs as if pedaling a bicycle.
Earth Dance: Turn on some music and let the children dance and celebrate their earth. I also love reading aloud this book to children. It is beautifully illustrated, will captivate the children and is fun to act out and do yoga poses while reading.
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As a Yoga Kids teacher, I am always looking for fun ways to help my students focus on their yoga breathing and being aware of themselves and others. This breath work game works well with younger ages that know each other. This will definitely help kids remember the power of breath which is so important in yoga!
Each person places their head on another person’s stomach so that everyone is connected. Then I encourage the kids to get their laughs and giggles out as it really is a pretty funny position to be in. Once we get that out of our system, it is time to become aware of our yoga breathing.
Then the first person says “Ha” while really exaggerating their breath, next the second person says “Ha-ha”, The third person responds with, “Ha ha ha.” Continue on while each person adds a “ha”. The goal is to get all the way through the group without anyone laughing.
They will laugh! It is almost impossible not to! It is such a unique set-up and just by saying the word “Ha!” will bring out the laughter. If they do happen to make it through, let everyone get their giggles out that they have been holding in. Then challenge the class to be completely quiet and attentive to just the rising and falling breath for 30 seconds. Now that is pretty powerful!
We sense it as we step outdoors. Animals and plants all around us are beginning to transform and change. Celebrate with kids this wonderful season of spring with some transformation yoga!
Caterpillar to Butterfly
- Begin in cobra yoga pose. Pretend to be a hungry caterpillar, lifting your head to munch on a leaf as you raise in cobra yoga pose.
- Move into plank pose. This is the caterpillar on a branch, getting ready to form a cocoon.
- Lower into child’s pose and become a safe little cocoon. Be still. Breathe deeply and get ready for an exciting change to happen!
- Finally become butterflies! Practice butterfly pose and flutter your wings. Talk with the children about what color of wings their butterflies have and where they would fly to. How fast or slow can they flap their wings?
Egg to Tadpole to Frog
- Begin in child’s pose as that represents the tiny egg.
- Slowly inch onto your stomach and “swim” while moving your arms and leg up and down to be the tadpole.
- Then take frog pose (malasana), with your feet on the floor and your legs in a deep squat. See if you can try out your new frog legs with frog hops on your mat.
Seed to Flower
- Begin in child’s pose and pretend to be a tiny seed in the ground.
- Lift one arm as you imagine a tiny stem beginning to poke through the Earth.
- Sit up straight and tall in lotus (flower) pose with your legs crossed. Raise your arms up into a flower shape toward the sun. Can you sway in the breeze?
Have fun with these spring yoga kid ideas. See if your children can come up with any other changes that happen in the spring such as weather, animals or plants. The possibilities are endless and putting these springtime changes into yoga postures makes them all the more memorable.