Yoga and Mindfulness for children and Teens.
Poses that can Fly
A Sample of one of my lesson plans for ages 4 to 7.
Breathe – Bird breath. A nice way to start any class is with a few slow breaths together. Bring your arms out to the sides like they are your wings, breathe in and lift them up, and exhale breathe out. Repeat three times.
Warm Up – Helicopter. Place your hands on your shoulders and gently twist side to side. Get slightly faster. This is a great movement for the spine. Land your helicopter by coming back to center and then bring your elbows towards each other and then open them up and around, nice and slow. Moving your shoulders around and back like this can be a great release for the shoulders as well as helping those feel-good hormones to fill our body.
Magic carpet: Sit at the top of your mat in a cross-legged position and hold on to the edge of your may. Take a slow breath and sit up tall, as you exhale roll back and then forward again. Repeat a few times. Could chat with the group about where they would go if they could fly anywhere in the world.
Dragon pose – Low lunge. Can you breathe fire in this pose? Take a deep breath in through the nose, filling up that belly and then breathe out that fire from your belly. Repeat two or three times.
Pegasus (Flying Unicorn) – High Lunge with eagle arms OR with hands together at the forehead.
Baby Pegasus – Cow legs with eagle arms OR hands together at the forehead.
Ask the group about other poses that might fly and ask them what that might look like. Have fun exploring different shapes and movements. Do these poses make noise? How do they fly?
Game: Don't wake the dragon.
One person lays in the middle of the room with a bell beside them, this is the dragon. The dragon is guarding a bell but is very tired. (this could be an actual bell or something that makes noise when moved such as keys or a rattle). Everyone else gathers in a circle at the edges of the room. As the ‘dragon’ sleeps, the children must sneak up to get the bell. If the dragon hears any noise, they can wake up and scare everyone back to the start. If someone is successful in getting the bell without waking the dragon, the game can end here or for something extra they have to get it to a certain spot before the dragon wakes and chases them. It’s fun to switch turns so that everyone can have a turn being the dragon.
Peak Pose Practice / Pose of the week: This pose we will spend a little longer looking at, talking about it’s benefits and looking a bit more at the alignment of the pose. This week we are looking at warrior 3 or just playing around with balance standing on one leg.
Cool Down – Windshield wiper the legs, Supine twist, hug knees to chest, supine pigeon/ Figure four, ending with supine butterfly. Stay in this pose or stretch out for the final relaxation pose.
Short Story – The fireflies
While the children relax in the position of their choice, here is a short story that you may like to share with them.
One day the wind got very angry and decided to dim all the lights in the world and make it completely dark. She blew hard and brought clouds to hide the sun, the moon, and the stars, she tore all the electricity wires, she brought heavy rain and blew out all of the fires. The world sank into darkness, and the wind alone was happy. Suddenly, the wind saw little lights moving down below. She tried to blow them out but couldn’t. She asked angrily, “Who are you? Why are you not in darkness?” And the lights replied: “We are little fireflies. Our light cannot be put out because it comes from within us”.
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