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Flamingo Pose

The word ‘flamingo’ comes from the Latin word for ‘flame.’ Flamingos are born with soft gray feathers. Around their 3rd birthday, their color turns flaming pink or orange. That’s quite a birthday present!

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Instructions

  1. Begin in mountain pose.
  2. Spread your arms open like graceful wings as your left leg extends straight back.
  3. Bend forward at the hip hinge.
  4. Establish your balance little by little as you adjust your arms and back leg.
  5. Clear your mind and fix your attention on your breath, body and focusing friend. Notice when your thoughts are scattered, your pose is unsteady too.
  6. If you feel like flying, gently flap your wings Repeat with the opposite leg.

Do both sides 2-3 times.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes

A flamingo flies with its head and neck stretched out in front. And, unlike other feathered friends, flamingos bend and stretch their legs behind them when balancing. Can you feel the difference between stork and flamingo?

Math Medley

Flamingo wings are about 60 inches from tip to tip. How many feet is that? Hint: 1 foot = 12 inches What is your wingspan? Measure from fingertip to fingertip.

Body Benefits

Flamingo legs might look scrawny and spindly, but they’re not. This pose strengthens, shapes and tones the legs. The upper body may then experience a sense of feathery lightness. Praise your child as you see them become more graceful, poised and balanced.

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Peace Breath

Peace is a powerful word that has many meanings – love, kindness, quiet, sharing, happy, smiling, gentleness. The peace breath is an easy way to help us feel peace. When you are peaceful, you will help everyone around you be peaceful too.

Instructions

Close your eyes. Relax your face. Let your skin just drape down over your bones like a soft blanket. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word peace.

Do this 3-6 times. As you exhale and say the word “Peace,” feel the peace within you. Feel the peace around you. Send peace to the animals, trees and plants. Send peace to your family. Send peace to countries in the world that are having wars. Send peace to all the people you love. You are peace.

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Visual Vignettes

What does peace look like? Draw a picture of your peaceful family. Make peace signs and hang them around your house to remind each other to choose peace instead of yelling or shouting.

We all Win

Make up a peace game for you and your friends where everyone is a winner.

Awesome Anatomy

Go through your body parts and organs from head to toes and send each one peace. When you have a tummy ache send peace to your tummy. A headache-send peace to your brain.

Laughing Language

Peace is defined as a state of quiet, calm, tranquility, freedom from war, harmony. Here are a few ways to say it in different languages:

  • Egyptian: Hetep
  • Greek: Irini
  • Italian: Pace
  • Japanese: Heiwa
  • Swedish: Fred
  • Vietnamese: Su Thai Binh
  • Zulu: Ukuthula

Affirmations

  • I am peace.
  • I am kind.
  • I help others.
  • Peace begins within me.
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Polar Bear/mk_title_box]

A polar bear’s thick fur can keep him warm even at 37 degrees below zero! Brrrrrr!

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When you feel a need to curl up and hibernate, try this pose!

  • Instructions
      • Begin in heel sitting pose
      • Open your knees wide apart
      • Bend forward at the hips, and slide your chest along the floor
      • Place your chin on the ground and bring your big polar bear paws over your nose to keep yourself warm.
      • Breath in and out and feel your warm polar bear breath beneath your paws!
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Mountain Pose

Mountains represent majesty and solidness. Can you stand tall and proud, yet relaxed and still on your own two feet? The mountain pose looks very simple. You just stand there. Yet, there is much to be aware of in the body. This pose promotes correct posture.

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Instructions

  1. Stand rooted with your feet together or your feet hip width apart. However you feel most comfortable on your own two feet. The feet are the foundation. Sink both feet into the floor. Stretch downward through the legs. The more you ground downward the more you will be able to stretch upward and skyward. through your spine, belly and the top of your head.
  2. Toe photos: Let’s see how well our feet can listen to the directions of our brain…
    1. Tell your toes: Big toes stay on the floor. Others lift up. Good.
    2. Tell your heels to lift up and open from the center. Place your heels back down. Were they good listeners?
    3. Now tell the big toes to lift up. All others stay on the floor.

Well done!

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Body Benefits

It takes time and practice to feel proper form and alignment in the body. Practicing the mountain regularly will promote stillness in the mind and body.

Quiet Quests

Experience your breath flowing through your Mountain body. Upward and downward from the earth to the sky. We are the conduits of this natural flow and exchange of energy. Take 3 to 5 breaths. Increase with time and practice.

Laughing Language

Tell or write a story as if you were the mountain. Where are you? How big are you? Does a volcano live inside of you? Do children snowboard or ski on you? Do you have water? Trees? Houses? What would it feel like to be bulldozed with a big machine?

Musical Musings

Play the R Kelly song, The World’s Greatest. It’s a song about standing tall and proud like a mountain.

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R is for Roar

A lion’s roar serves many purposes: To warn, welcome, attract and scare. With sound, lions use their language to claim territory, attract members of the opposite sex and frighten enemies. Roars can be heard 5 miles away.

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Instructions

  1. Sit on the heels. Spread the knees a little bit.
  2. Stretch your fingers into giant lion claws. Place them at the top of the thighs.
  3. Inhale. Puff up your proud lion chest with your breath.
  4. Exhale with a quiet, throaty rrrroar. Stretch your tongue out towards your chin. Open the back of your throat.

Start with 3 quiet ones. Do 3 more ripping roars. Growl, grunt, yawn and purr too. Remember R is for Roar. RRRRRRRRRoar. L is for Lion. LLLLLLLLion.

Note to Parents and Teachers

This pose opens the throat. It can help remedy bad breath. It is especially helpful in winter months and for colds. It pulls up phlegm, which should be spit out to help clear the body of excess mucus or catarrh.

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Ecological Echoes

Both boy and girl lions share the responsibilities in defending territory, hunting and raising their cubs. With their relatives, the females live in groups called prides on land that has been handed down from one generation to the next. Males form “coalitions” and try to infiltrate prides to find their brides…

Musical Musings

There are 3 different types of roars that make up the lion’s song. The prelude or beginning is generally soft, low moaning sounds. Then, it rises into a high-energy “roar” that generally goes from high to low and ends with “aaoouuu.” The finale is very staccato (short and quick) with grunts that sound like “huh, huh, huh.” *

Laughing Language

We have learned lions have many different sounds in their language.

  • A is for aaoouuuu
  • G is for grunt and growl
  • H is for huh
  • P is for Purr
  • R is for Roar
  • Y is for Yawn

Go through the alphabet. Can you find a sound for each letter? They might not be in lion language, but that’s OK.

* The Lion’s Roar: More than Just Hot Air by Jon Grinnell

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Take 5

‘Take 5’ is an expression that means “take a short break”.  Take 5 breath gives you a quick rest whenever you  need it.  If you get angry, tired, nervous or frustrated — just breathe…and Take 5.  Before tests or while you’re studying, Take 5 breath will help you focus and concentrate.

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This pose can be done anywhere, at any time. Breathe in for 5 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds.

  1. Make a fist and breathe in through your nose with an inhalation. Have someone count out loud for your or count it out in your mind 1,2,3,4,5. Good.
  2. Next, put up your hand with 5 fingers spread wide.
  3. Breathe out through your nose with an exhalation. Exhale 5,4,3,2,1. Put one finger at a time down with each count– thumb 5, index finger 4, middle 3, ring 4, pinkie 1.

Repeat 1 to 3 times.

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Family Benefits

Take 5 with each other and make it a family practice. You can use it anywhere: In the car, at the dinner table, when tiredness or crankiness sets in for anyone in your family. Children love to remind their parents to “Take 5” when they see them stressed or anxious. When things get wild just signal each other with an outstretched hand. Together you´ll learn to “Take 5” automatically!!

Math Medley

Increase your breath in multiples of 5. Count 5,10,15,20. Count backwards 20,15,10,5, With practice, your breath span will naturally increase.

Quiet Quests

Begin your day with Take 5. Use it to help you fall asleep or anytime in between: At the dinner table, in the car, standing or sitting, anywhere-anytime.

YogaKids Affirmations

  • “When I get upset, I take 5.”
  • “When I get frustrated, I take 5.”
  • “Before a test, I take 5 to quiet my brain and focus my mind.”
  • “I take 5 and feel calm.”
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Twist and Blow

Have you ever squeezed water out of a wet towel? In this pose, we twist our body to wring out tension and tightness. Our spinal nerves get nourished. Vertebrae muscles get stronger. The organs in our belly get exercised and revitalized. Get ready to twist and blow!

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Instructions

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Hug your knees into your chest. Clasp them gently.
  3. Rock back and forth.
  4. Return to center.
  5. Stretch your arms out to the sides. Palms are up.
  6. Inhale and drop your hips and bent knees to one side. Twist your ribs, neck and head to the other.
  7. Blow out through your mouth.
  8. Change sides.
  9. Twist back and forth 5-10 times, then release onto one side and relax for at least a minute.
  10. Blow out fully.
  11. Breathe in deeply.
  12. Close your eyes.
  13. Do the other side.

Note for Parents and Teachers

You can help your child increase the twisting action. As she twists her lower body to the right and upper body left, help her in the following way:

  1. Place one hand on her left lower back and the other hand on her right shoulder. Move her hips in one direction.
  2. Lengthen her chest by pressing her shoulder gently down towards the floor in the other direction. Encourage the spiraling of the spine to stretch and relax her.
  3. Give her a kiss on the cheek.
  4. Move her knees to the other side.
  5. Repeat.

Let your child help you to twist and blow too. Spinal twists massage the internal organs as well as the spine.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley/Awesome Anatomy

Your spine consists of 3 groups of bones that help you stand up tall: 7 in your cervical spine or neck, 12 in your thoracic spine or chest area and 5 in your lumbar spine or lower back area. How many bones are in your spine? 31 spinal nerves run through your spine and connect to every part of the body. How many vertebra bones and nerves are in your backbone?

Body Benefits

The twisting action of this pose massages the kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines. It makes your digestive and eliminative systems healthy and strong.

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OOOOooooowahhhaOOOooooWaahh! Tarzan’s Thymus Tap

Go ape! Pound your chest. Howl like a monkey. Stay happy, healthy and energized with this fun YogaKids pose.

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Pose Instructions

  1. Stand in mountain, sit in lotus or on your knees. (This pose can be done in many positions.)
  2. Make two fists and pound your chest. Pound and tap under your arms too.
  3. Howl and yowl and yodel.

Note for Parents and Teachers

When you or your child feel tired or cranky (yes, of course grown-ups get cranky too), this pose will stimulate the thymus gland and send a steady flow of oxygenated blood through the carotid arteries to the brain. It’s a great pick-me-up and the whole family will feel better.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Awesome Anatomy

Feel the collar bone (clavicle) that runs between the shoulders at the front of your chest. From the center of the clavicle draw a line down your chest. This is your breast bone (sternum). Run the fingers along your ribs. These are the bones in your upper body.

We all Win

Play the game we call Monkey Me – Monkey You.

  1. Face one another.
  2. Make faces and sounds for your partner to mimic.

Take turns being the leader.

Nutrition Notes

Bananas are one of monkeys’ favorite foods and children love them too. They are rich in potassium, help to balance the sodium (salt) in our bodies and reduce stress. Bananas are a great substitue for cookies and other high fat sweets. Bananas also have lots of natural fruit sugars that help reduce those late afternoon sugar cravings.

Green leafy vegetables support the Tarzan Thymus Tap blood flowing to your brain. These types of veggies like broccoli, kale, spinach, collards, mustard greens, and broccoli rabe, also strengthen the blood and the respiratory system too. Greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are filled with fiber, folic acid and many micronutrients and phytochemicals. Eat your greens. Tap away stress. Become a powerhouse of health. YES!

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Reach for the Sun!

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Pose instructions

  1. Breathe in and reach up high with an outstretched hand.
  2. Pretend that you are grabbing a piece of sunshine and pull the power into your solar plexus – your inner sun (the solar plexus is located between the chest and the navel).
  3. Exhale with a “hah” breath.
  4. Repeat with your other arm, alternating the reach with the left and right arms.

As you practice, increase the force of your breath. Can you work up to 1, then 2 minutes. Feel the power of the sun shining inside of you. You are filled with light!

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Bridge of Diamonds Element

Encourage children to understand and trust their inner power. We do not need to exert force over anyone of anything. Let’s live in balance together.

Body Benefits Element

This is a perfect pose for tired, weary children. Reach for the Sun and pull energy into your body. Feel refreshed and ready to go…..

Affirmations Element

Repeat these positive statements as you practice this pose:

  • “I am powerful.”
  • “If I feel afraid, I turn on the light inside of me.”
  • “I have the power of the sun shining within me.”
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Butterfly with Antennae

When the butterfly first emerges from her cocoon, she will rest on a twig and spread open her wings to dry. Then she will gently flap her wings to warm them up before she takes off on her first flight. Where would you fly to on your first flight?

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Instructions

  1. Begin in the “L” pose.
  2. Bring the bottoms of your feet together with your heels close to your body.
  3. Open your knees out to each side.
  4. Extend your neck and the top of your head towards the sky. Stretch your spine long and strong.
  5. Place your hands at the sides of your head and stick out your fingers for antennae.
  6. Pull your arms back—now they’re your wings. Breathe in and out as you flap your wings forward and back. Flap your leg wings up and down, too.

Notes for Parents and Teachers

Did you know you have antenna? Remember the times that you’ve sensed something before it occurred, or had a hunch and were right. This is called intuition. Intuition is having knowledge of something you haven’t seen. Our antenna help us achieve this. Try to honor your children’s instincts. It empowers them, and teaches them to trust their inner knowing. It’s an important survival skill to acquire at a young age. Balanced with a sense of love and trust in one’s self, this inner knowing will build confidence and trust that will serve them for life.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes

Insects, like the butterfly, use their antennae like reptiles use their tongues. They are like a “sixth sense” to help detect danger, smell, and get a ‘reading’ on things in the air.

Quiet Quests/Visual Vignettes

Close your eyes. Get quiet and listen. Wiggle your antennae around. What do you sense? What do you see, smell or feel? Draw a picture of what you experience with your antenna.

Laughing Language

Take a butterfly journey from A to Z. Think of a place to go that begins with the letter A. Fly there right away. Then think of a place that begins with B and fly there, too. Fly through the alphabet, all the way to Zanzibar.

Brain Balance

Flapping your leg wings up and down and your arm wings back and forth, is kind of like rubbing your tummy and patting your head. It takes coordination and communication between the brain and the body. Practicing your butterflying will stimulate the dendrites (the branches of the brain cells) to grow and make new neural pathways.

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Bunny Breath

Bunny Breath is a quick pick-me-up that will give you energy and focus. It is especially helpful for children with ADD and ADHD.

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Pose Instructions

  1. Sit on your knees like a bunny.
  2. Keep your chest lifted and your shoulder blades descending down the back.
  3. Tuck your chin in slightly and let your lower jaw relax.
  4. Get your nose ready for breathing by twitching it like a bunny.
  5. Take 4 to 6, short, quick breaths in through your nose.
  6. Breathe out through your mouth with a long, smooth sigh, ahhhhhhh.
  7. Increase the number of inhalations and double the length of your exhalation as your breathing power grows stronger and stronger with time and practice.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Bridge of Diamonds Element/Building Community

“Allogrooming” is what rabbits do to take care of one another. If one bunny is disabled in some way, a friend will groom her. If a rabbit is blind, his companion doesn’t leave his side. Helping each other is important for people and animals.

Body Benefits Element

This breath cleans the inside of your body like a washcloth and soap cleans the outside.

Brain Balance Element

The rapid intake of oxygen inherent when practicing the bunny breath awakens the brain. Tune into learning readiness and get smart!

Laughing Language Element/Vocabulary

Bunnies ears are their “thermoregulators.” That is a fancy word for their bodies natural air-conditioning and heating system. They release heat through their ears to cool their body down and then adjust their internal organs to the right temperature for perfect comfort in the hot or cold weather.

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360 Degree Owl

Owls are known for their beauty and intelligence. Their amazing eyesight and hearing makes them great hunters too. They can’t move their eyes, but can turn their heads almost full circle.

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Instructions

  1. Roll up your yoga mat and turn it into a tree branch.
  2. Bend your knees and perch on your branch. Find a place of balance and sit upright, or kneel.
  3. Tuck your arms behind you. Hold each elbow with the opposite hand.
  4. Slowly turn your head from side to side, eyes wide open.

How much of what’s behind you can you see? Can you hoot?

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Body Benefits

360º Owl improves balance, posture, and flexibility in the joints, especially the hips, knees and ankles. And it’s fun to inhabit another kind of animal for a short time.

Musical Musings

Owls can flap their wings in silence and are able to hear even the tiniest of sounds in order to find their prey. If you perch quietly in this pose for at least a minute, what tiny sounds can you hear?

Laughing Language

Many owl calls sound to us like human speech: The Great Horned Owl seems to say, “Who’s awake? Me, too!” The Barred Owl says, “Who cooks for you?” What would you say if you were an owl?

Visual Vignettes

Draw a picture of yourself with wings and feathers. What would it feel like to be a bird?

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Eagle Pose

Have you heard the expression, ‘as sharp as an eagle’s eye’? An eagle can see fish moving in the water from hundreds of feet in the air, as well as rabbits running almost a mile away. Their aerodynamically perfect wings contain about 7,000 feathers. They can gracefully glide great distances without flapping them.

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Instructions

  1. Stand in mountain.
  2. Stretch your arms out to the side.
  3. Exhale. Make an X crossing the arms above the elbows and give yourself a hug. Entwine them around each other.
  4. Press the palms together in Namaste or interlace your fingers. Lift the arms.
  5. Bend your knees. Cross one leg over the thigh and wrap it behind the calf.
  6. Ground and perch with your lower body. Ascend and fly with your upper body.

Doesn’t this standing twist feel eagle-riffic!? Unwind. Wrap it up on the other side.

Notes for Parents and Teachers

The wrapping of the arms is a great stretch for the upper back and shoulders, as well as the fingers and wrist joints. If you or your child spend a considerable amount of time at the computer, take regular 1/2 eagle breaks sitting at your desk. Stand up now and then and do the full eagle too. It will energize your legs and invigorate your lower back, too.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes

The use of DDT, a deadly pesticide, which is still being used today in many parts of the world, almost wiped out the eagle, our symbol of freedom. As Chief Seattle said, “We are part of the earth and the earth is part of us.” When we use chemicals on our grass or in our soil, they eventually come full circle. Teach your YogaKids to respect the earth and all of the flora and fauna that we share this planet with.

Laughing Language

Can you find words within the word eagle? Here are a few to get you started; leg, eel, age. Keep looking with your eagle eyes.

Brain Balance

The combination of the twisting and entwining in this pose invigorates the brain. It increases the flow of oxygen to make you alert and smart.

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Eyes Around the Clock

These eye movements link all the parts of the brain by stimulating the corpus callosum – the brain’s superhighway. Simultaneously exercise your brain and eye muscles to make learning easier.

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Instructions

Take any seated or standing position. Imagine a numbered clock hanging in front of your face. Try to keep your head still and move only your eyes. Do each exercise 3-6 times.

1 and 2: Look up to 12 o’clock. Down to 6 o’clock. Reverse.

3 and 4: Look right to 3 o’clock and left to 9 o’clock. Reverse.

5 and 6: Look diagonally from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock. Reverse. Look diagonally from 11 o’clock to 5 o’clock. Reverse.

Between each direction give your eyes a rest. Rub your hands together to create friction until they feel hot. Keeping your fingers together so no light penetrates, place your hands over your eyes (open or closed) to soothe them and allow them to soak up the heat. Open your relaxed eyes and continue.

Now make complete eye circles: Begin clockwise at 12 o’clock and look at each number around the face of the clock. Return to 12. Look counterclockwise from 12 and back. Palm the eyes and relax. Repeat.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Laughing Language, Reading Comes Alive with Yoga, Musical Musings

Can you think of books and/or songs that have clocks and/or time in them? Read them. Sing the songs. Roll and rotate your eyes and increase your brain power. Have fun.

Visual Vignettes

Create fun and wacky clocks and watches out of available supplies. Use these as a focal point to focus your brain.

Body Benefits

Just like the rest of the body, the eyes have muscles too. Improve your eyesight with this pose.

Nutrition Tip

Just as this pose helps all of the different areas of our brain link together and creates balance between the right and left sides of our brains and bodies, there are foods that are also more equalizing for our bodies. Some foods make us feel slow, heavy, dry and sluggish; these include cheese, eggs, meat and salty snacks. Other foods give us a huge burst of crazy energy, but then leave us feeling tired and spaced out; These foods include sugar, coffee, pop and and an excess of fruit juices.

The most balancing food are the ones that leave us feeling energized and de-stressed like:

  • Tofu, Leafy Greens & Seeds
  • Roots and Winter Squash
  • Beans and Sea Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Fish

Eat more of these foods for a balanced, calmer you!

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Bold Warrior Pose

You may have already learned how to be a Brave Warrior. Have you been practicing and getting braver? Now you are a Bold Warrior as well as a Brave Warrior. Congratulations! Keep building your strength and courage.

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Instructions

    1. Jump your feet apart (Steps 1-4 are just like Brave Warrior.).
    2. Stretch your arms straight out of the shoulders, palms down and fingers stretched.
    3. Turn your toes toward the right.
    4. Bend your right knee into a right angle.
    5. Turn your torso forward.
    6. Raise your arms alongside your ears. Feel the support of the earth underneath you and stretch your hands to the sky.

Affirmations

In this pose say the following:

    • I am a bold warrior.
    • My body is strong.
    • My mind is strong.
    • My love keeps my family strong.
  1. Come up.
  2. Turn your feet to the left.
  3. Do the pose on the other side.

Note to Parents and Teachers

The word warrior comes from the root “war”. In yoga we practice peace, so I’d like you to encourage your children to think of the qualities a warrior has besides someone who fights. Discuss with your children the characteristics that peaceful warriors possess. Some ideas are strength, tenacity, perserverence, focus, concentration, believing in yourself. Is there something that your child would like to have or achieve at the moment? It could be anything from a toy, to getting better at a sport, realizing a goal, or whatever they come up with. Explain to them about the posture, presence, mind and other characteristics of a warrior.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley

Notice the shapes that your lower body makes in the warrior poses. Which of these angles does your knee make in your Brave and Bold Warriors?

  • Is it a right angle at 90 degrees?
  • An obtuse angle at more than 90 degrees?
  • Or an acute angle that is smaller than 90 degrees?
  • Can you see and feel them as you practice?

Visual Vignettes

Draw yourself, your friends and family as warriors. Color them. Decorate them too. Put your warriors on a hangar with a string and make a mobile.

Nutrition Tips

The American Dairy Association says, “milk does a body good.” Yet there are many other foods besides milk that help create a strong body and bones, and actually contain more usable and digestible calcium than milk. Except for people of northern European origin, most adults worldwide can’t digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk. This is because as we mature, our bodies stop making the enzyme that breaks it down. As a result, many peole may develop intestinal discomfort whenever they have milk or milk-based foods. Here are some ideas for alternative sources of the vitamins and minerals milk provides:

Chia Seeds: just a single 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains a significant portion of your daily recommended intake of calcium (18%), fiber, protein, omega 3 fats, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2. Gel them with juice, nuts, and dried fruit for a delicious morning meal, or gel with nut milk, stevia, and a drop of flavor extract for a nutritious sugar-free pudding.

Sesame Seeds can be ground or made into a paste like tahini and used in halvah or hummus. Put them in homemade cookies, cereals and candies too. They are rich in calcium and protien.
Leafy Greens like kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens, bok choy are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D.
Molasses is a great source of calcium too and can easily be used in or on pancakes, waffles, cookies, breads, cakes.

Did you know that most nuts and seeds can be made into milk too? There are many to choose from like almond milk, soymilk, sesame milk, rice milk. Goat’s milk is also said to be more digestible than cow’s milk — especially for children.

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Roll on into Wheel Pose!

Open your heart and get a boost of energy in this pose round.

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Pose Instructions

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, heels in close to your backside.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your arms over your head.
  4. Place your palms flat on the floor beside your ears with the fingertips pointing toward your shoulders.
  5. Pull your elbows toward each other.
  6. Press down into your hands and feet, as you straighten your arms and legs, and lift your chest and thighs toward the sky.
  7. Release down.

Finish up by curling into a ball and letting your body rock and roll back and forth.

Note to Parents and Teachers

This is a challenging pose. Please supervise and assist your child to come into this position easily and without force. Most young children will be unable to arch their spines like a wheel. Their pose will look more like a table..their chest level and their 4 limbs supporting their torso like the legs of a table.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Affirmations

Make up some positive statements that will help you in this pose as well as make you feel good. Some examples of YogaKids affirmations are:

  • I am flexible
  • My heart is open
  • My spine is strong
  • My brain is alert

Body Benefits

This pose brings strength and flexibility to the spine, back, legs and arms. The more you practice, the more this pose will begin to look “wheel-like.”

Brain Balance

Whenever the head is lower than the heart, blood flow to the brain is increased. When done properly, wheel can oxygenate and wake up the brain.

Visual Vignettes/Laughing Language

Talk to your children about all the different ways that wheels make a difference in our lives. Imagine if we didn’t have cars, skateboards, skates, scooters, bicycles? Can you think of new ways to get around? Write and draw your innovative inventions.

Nutrition Tips

Most children love wagon wheels. Use whole wheat, rice or semolina pasta as a healthier alternative to refined white flour. Top it with a hearty tomato sauce filled with vegetables.

Do the wheel pose regularly to boost energy, awaken the brain and make yourself feel alert! What foods make you feel good? Which ones don’t you like very much? How do certain foods make you feel? Try this fun Food Mood activity.

Take three paper plates and have your children draw different faces:

  • Make a happy face.
  • Make a sad face.
  • Make an angry face.

Attached their decorated plates onto the wall or the refrigerator. When your child likes a food, have him draw or write it on the happy plate. If what you are serving isn’t a favorite choice, she will choose the “sad” plate. Foods that contain a lot of sugar, artificial ingredients or too much salt can have an adverse effect on your child’s moods and feelings. Have him “post” these on the angry face plate.

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STORK POSE

The stork is a symbol of good luck. Make a wish when you practice the stork, and you might just get what you ask for. This pose is one of the easier balance poses. It teaches two important skills: stillness and focus.

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Instructions

  1. Begin in mountain pose. Breathe evenly in and out.
  2. Gaze at a focus friend to help you balance, as you bend your left knee and lift your left foot off the ground.
  3. Keep your leg in a right angle or tuck your foot inside your knee.
  4. Lift your right arm and bend it at the elbow. Relax your wrist.

Begin by holding the pose for 5 seconds. With patience and practice, your wobbling will wane and you will become an expert at this balancing act.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes

Swamps and marshes are two of the stork’s favorite restaurants. On the menu are insects, fish, frogs, reptiles, young birds and small mammals. Do you eat some of the same foods as the stork?

Math Medley

Count the number of seconds you can hold your stork pose. Try to increase your balance for a few more seconds than last time. Soon you’ll be up to a minute, or even two or three minutes. How many seconds is that? (Hint: 60 seconds = 1 minute.)

Bridge of Diamonds

Storks are loving and nurturing parents. The legend that the stork brings the new baby arises from the fact that they take very good care of their young.

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Lizzzzzard Posssse

Lizards are cousins of dinosaurs. There are thousands of different types of lizards living in mountains, deserts, and rainforests.

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Instructions

Lie down on your belly. Place your hands under your shoulders. Spread your fingers out like lizard claws. Bend your lizard toes forward. Push up until your arms and legs are straight. Draw your shoulders back and away from your ears. Walk like a lizard, slowly and carefully. Flick your tongue in and out as you check for danger and maybe catch a bug for a snack. Your scales protect you and will keep you strong and fearless.

Note to Parents and Teachers

Lizard can be practiced in a stationary position, although children like to have lizard races too. If you need them to do something, like a chore or a task, send them off in lizard pose to complete their mission.

If grinding the teeth or suffering from TMJ affects you or your child, practicing lizard tongue will help. Flick and loosen the tongue to unlock and relax the jaw.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Laughing Language

Make a lizard tongue twister with the letter L, such as “Long lizards lie lollygagging. . .”

We All Win

Take a lizard walk with a partner while you trade tongue-twisters.

Math Medley

How far can you walk as a lizard? Count the steps or measure the distance in feet and inches.

Awesome Anatomy

Clenching the jaw, sends signals of tightness to the brain via the sensory nerves. The motor nerves then communicate that sense back to the body. Practicing lizard tongue, relaxes the jaw, and alleviates tension.

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Sssssssssssssnake Posssse

A snake’s tongue is a radar detector. It can taste and smell, seek out friends and detect enemies too. Stick out your tongue. Follow your senses. What do you sense in the air?

S is for Snake

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Instructions

  1. Lie on your belly. Gently squeeze your legs together. Make your body long and strong like a snake.
  2. Place your hands under your shoulders.
  3. Inhale. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears. Lift your chest… higher and higher. Slither out of your skin and lower back.
  4. Exhale as you hiss the s sound of the snake. Sssssss. Stick out your tongue. Flick it too.
  5. Rest.
  6. Inhale. Snake up again.

Do the snake as many times as you want too.

Snake Charmer

Instructions

The snake charmer squats in front of her snake. She plays her flute. She charms her snake to move up and down, side to side, high, low and any ways she wants the snake to go. The snake pays close attention to her charmer. She listens carefully with her tongue and follows directions with her eyes and body.

The charmer guides her snake back onto her belly. She pets and thanks her for a great job. Curls her into a ball. Puts her back into the basket. They travel to their next show. There they trade places.

Activities for Home and School

Ecological Ethics

The mysterious and exotic ways of snake charmers throughout Asia have fascinated imaginations for centuries. To work with a cobra, they remove their poison glands so their bites become harmless. Is it OK to rob the cobra of its venom which is necessary for survival in order to put him in charm school? What do you think?

Mommy and Me

With infants and toddlers, let them lie on your back to have some herpetologic fun. (Herpetology is the study of snakes and other reptiles).They’ll giggle and enjoy the snake ride as you lift your spine up and down, side to side with them lying on your spine. Slither across the floor with them holding onto your shoulders then coil around them and cuddle to finish your serpentine sojourn.

Body Benefits

S is for snake is one of the children’s favorites, especially the boys. Practicing this pose will keep the spine and lower back flexible. Doing it the YogaKids way also exercises the tongue and opens the throat. When your snake is charmed, he is learning to follow non-verbal directions and enhance eye/brain/body coordination. Now that’s a sssspecial ssskill.

Ecological Echoes

Snakes have poor hearing. They don’t have outer ears like we do, but their inner ear is well tuned. Their slithering movements on the earth help them ‘hear’ through the ground. They are sensitive to vibrations that most people are completely unaware of.

Laughing Language

Make up s is for snake tongue twisters. Use an s location in each one, anything from Saturn to supermarkets to Singapore.

How many s places can you name? Here’s a few to get your ssss’s started:  Super snails shovel slowly seeking Spain.

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Spouting Dolphin Pose

Dolphins are mammals just like you. They have lungs and they breathe air, even though they live in the water! They also have their own language. Can you speak Dolphinese?

dolphin 1dolphin 2dolphin 3

  1. Begin on all fours. Lower your elbows to the floor. Make sure that your knees are under your hips.
  2. Clasp your elbows with the opposite fingers to keep proper spacing. Shoulders remain aligned over the elbows.
  3. Move your lower arms forward, interlace your fingers, and make a triangle. Your hands are one point, and your elbows are the other two points. Breathe as your spine lengthens, your tailbone lifts up, your legs stretch.
  4. Press your heels towards the floor.
  5. Move your body forward so your chin touches down in front of your fingers.
  6. Breathe out and lift out of the water.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Body Benefits

This pose builds agility and flexibility in the joints of the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles as well as strengthens the muscles of the arms, legs and belly. Do the dolphin and build your upper body strength.

Math Medley

As you already know, dolphins are mammals just like us and have lungs like we do. Although they need to surface for a gulp of air about every five minutes or so. Do the math: If they were to swim for one hour, how many times would they come up for air? For 5 hours? For a whole day? Month?

Musical Musings

Dolphins squeeze air back and forth between breath sacs under their blowholes. Can you make clicking sounds and patterns like a dolphin singing its watery melodies?

Nutrition Tip

Did you know there are vegetables in the sea? Guess what they’re called? Yup, you guessed it — SEA VEGETABLES! They contain many vitamins and minerals. They have more nutrients than any other food on the planet!  These funny sea vegetables are very different then most of the foods we are used to. Sea vegetables balance our blood and can help us to calm down when are bodies are over-active and excited.

These sea vegetables have fun and exotic names like:

  • Kombu
  • Wakame
  • Kelp
  • Agar Agar
  • Hijiki

Can you say those? Now you’re speaking some Japanese.

Here are some ways to get cooking with the sea:

  • Add wakame to spaghetti sauce.
  • Use kelp or dolce instead of salt.
  • Bake with agar agar (instead of gelatin) as a base for custards, puddings and jello. It will thicken sauces too. (It’s also a vegetarian substitute for gelatin.)
  • Cook kombu with rice and beans to up the minerals in your body.

Experiment, look for recipes and talk about this new and interesting addition to menu!

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Have you ever rowed a boat? If not, give it a try right now. Rowing takes strength and coordination. You use your tummy, back, arm and shoulder muscles. Your body works hard, yet the oars just dip gently in the water without making too many waves. Put on your life jacket. Get ready for a ride.

row boatrow boat

Instructions

  1. Begin in an L position. Place both hands alongside of your hips. Press them to the floor. Lengthen the arms and spine. Lean back . Lift your legs upward. Balance on your sit bones. Extend your arms forward. Palms face each other. Breathe strongly.
  2. Row your arms forward. Sing a verse of ‘Row, Row Row your Boat.’ Row backwards. Repeat the verse. To rest, separate the legs slightly. Bend forward at the hips. Take a few deep breaths to renew. Can you row your boat forward and back 2 more times?

Note to Parents and Teachers

In the beginning, the back and stomach muscles might feel very weak. Over time, rowing your boat will strengthen the stomach and back muscles, as well as tone the organs of the intestines, kidneys and liver. You will notice when you sing and row, you can actually be in the pose longer than when you stay stationary without singing.

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Musical Musings

Sing “Row Your Boat”. Do as many verses as you can while your practice the pose. If there are 2 or more rowers, come in at different intervals.

Here are the lyrics:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

If you know this song in other languages, sing it.

Visual Vignettes

Make boats with origami paper. Place them on your tummy as you row. You can use a toy boat too.

We All Win/Laughing Language

Sit next to one another. Hold hands. Row together in unison. Synchronize your breath. Go a on boating adventure. Take turns leading the travels.

For example:
We’re in Alaska. The waters are very cold. The waves are big. Our boat is strong and we have life jackets. We see seals and polar bears and whales.
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Volcano Pose

Volcanoes live inside of mountains. They are the earth’s way of releasing heat and pressure. Lava and magma burst through the crust and erupt. Use the volcano pose to let off steam in peaceful ways whenever you feel like bursting or exploding.

Children enjoy making their breath very audible in this pose, so it sounds like volcanic noise.

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Instructions

  1. Begin in mountain pose. Bring the fingertips together at the chest.
  2. Jump the feet apart.
  3. Place your hands in the Namaste position at your heart.
  4. Inhale. Watch your hands as you raise them over your head.
  5. Exhale as you explode your arms outward.
  6. Return to Namaste.
  7. Erupt and release again and again. Have fun making exploding volcano noises!

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Behavior Management

This is an excellent pose for behavior management. Parents continuously report that children find the volcano pose very useful when they feel angry or frustrated. Encourage them to release feelings and emotions in this positive way. Practice together.

Ecological Echoes & Math Medley

1,511 volcanoes have erupted in the last 10,000 years, not including tens of thousands on the sea floor. These are still considered active. Can you calculate the average number of eruptions? (Hint: Divide 10,000 by 1,511.)

Laughing Language

Imagine all the things that could be inside of your volcano. Feelings, food, and toys are a few examples of what some YogaKids use. Here are some examples of what they’ve found inside their volcano:

  • My volcano is filled with lollipops.
  • My volcano is filled with lava.
  • My volcano is filled with kitty cats.

Make up your own volcano statements:

“My volcano is filled with                                            .”

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Rib-Splitting Seated Triangle – Partner Pose!

Sit. Stretch. Smile. Shape. Sing. Snack. With this pose and its elements you can do it all!

rib splitting seated triangle

Instructions

  1. Sit with your legs wide apart in a triangle position.
  2. Flex your heels and bend your toes toward you.The person with the smaller triangle should press her heels into her partner’s ankles.
  3. Reach across with your right hands and shake hands or wrists.
  4. Lift your left arm up above your head and over and as you stretch this entire side, shoulder, arms and fingertip. Keep your sit bones on the floor.
  5. Lean over. Look up. Smile and breath in and out.

Change sides.

Help each other to obtain the best feelings in your body by helping each other in this wonderful stretch and find your edge (the place where it feels just right without too much trying).

Note to parents and teachers

Partner yoga poses are great ways to help children learn about cooperation, have fun and get fit too.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Musical Musings

Sing age appropriate songs or ditties as you connect and stretch. Have fun using reciting nursery rhymes, pop songs, knock, knock jokes or any call and response songs. Tell some really funny jokes or stories to each other and have a rib splitting laugh together.

Awesome Anatomy/Body Benefits

Feel the bones in your chest. They are called your ribs. When you practice this pose you create space between your ribs and this helps your breath become deeper, fuller and stronger. This rib splitting pose stretches your legs, hips, waist shoulders and fingers too. Remember to press through your sit bones. The fancy name for them is ischial tuberosities. Can you say that? How about Ischium? That one is a little easier.

Math Medley

Draw a circle or a square. How many triangles can you put inside of each of these forms? 2, 3, 8, 10? Have fun counting and color them too.

Nutrition Tip – Triangle Foods

What is one of most children’s favorite foods that is served in the shape of a triangle or a circle? Yup. Yum. Pizza.

Instead of buying pizzas, make healthy ones together. Use whole grain dough, bagels, English muffins or tortillas. Use organic tomato sauce, lowfat or soy cheese and lots of veggies. Make funny faces with colorful strips of peppers, cherry tomato eyes, pineapple slices and other goodies.

Tyropitakia (pronounced tee-ro-pee-TAHK-yah) means “cheese pie triangles.” These tasty triangular cheese-filled pastries are fun finger foods for kids. Let young cooks try their hand at this. Once they get the hang of the folding, there will be no stopping them!

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Sit & Twist

Sit and Twist is a fun partner pose, so find a friend and get twistin’!

sit and twist

Instructions

  1. Sit cross-legged in front of your partner with your knees touching.
  2. Put your right arm behind your back, reach out with your left hand and grab your partner’s right hand. Breathe in and sit up tall.
  3. Breathe out, turn away from your partner, twist your spine, and look over your right shoulder.
  4. When you twist, rotate your spine gradually from the tip of your tail to the top of your head. Take your time and fee the stretch. Inhale as you lengthen your spine and exhale as you twist.

Sit and twist for 5 breaths. Change sides.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

We All Win

Have your students/children help each other twist and lengthen to their “edge.’ In yoga, going to the “edge’ means that you practice the pose the best you can. Tell your students/children not to force the pose or strain their muscles, but to keep breathing and moving as deeply as they can. Have the students guide each other with gentle communication.

Body Benefits

Twists are beneficial in so many ways. They massage the internal organs and glands as well as energize the spine, hips, open the heart and release tension in the neck and head.

Laughing Language

Play with opposite words as you twist. For example, one person would say “dark.” Your partner says “light.” The choices are endless. Have fun. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Silly/Serious
  • Happy/Sad
  • Sun/Moon
  • Morning/Night
  • Wet/Dry

Nutrition Tip

Just as you can achieve an even deeper twist with a partner, some foods help digestion when eaten together and yet other foods can give you an upset stomach or cause discomfort like gas and belching when eaten together.

Here are some examples of foods that are great food combinations for your body when eaten together and other combinations that make digestion more difficult.

Easy to digest

Grains with vegetables

Pasta with vegetables

Beans with vegetables

Fish with vegetables

Cooked/Raw fruit eaten alone

Melons eaten alone

Difficult to digest

Fruit or sweets with beans

Fruit with vegetables

Fruit with grain, dairy or meat

Grain with dairy or meat

Melons with anything

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Rocking Horse

In adult yoga, this pose is called the bow. In YogaKids, we like to take our yoga through space, so we move forward and back like a rocking horse. Get ready to rock!

rockinghorse

Instructions

  1. Lie on your belly.
  2. Bend your knees and reach back to take a hold of your ankles one at a time.
  3. Lift and broaden your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades and inner thighs together.
  4. Look forward and bring your feet towards the sky. Notice how the entire back of your body contracts, so that the front of your body can open and lift with pride like a proud horse.
  5. Take strong breaths in and out, as you begin to rock. Increase your rocking time with regular practice.

Do 3 rocking horses. Rest in the full or extended child’s pose when you get tired. Forward bends are counter poses to backbends. They have opposite effects. Backbends energize. Forward bends calm. Other back-bending poses in our YogaKids repertoire are Dromedary Delight, S is for Snake, Bubble Fish, Wheel and Bridge.

Notes for Parents and Teachers

This pose brings strength and elasticity to the back and spine, as well as the legs and shoulders. It stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands, too.

The rocking motion massages and awakens the internal organs. The rocking action in this pose should not be practiced right after eating.

This pose is a excellent way to feel the prana (energy, life-force, vitality) of the breath enlivening the body. The more prana you can generate, the longer you will be able to keep your horse rocking.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Musical Musings

Sing The Rocking Horse song (from Fitness Fun Tunes by Marsha Wenig):
Rocking Horse, Rocking Horse, swing and glide back and forth
Rocking Horse, Rocking Horse, swing and glide back and forth
Gallop, trot, jump and play
Come back to the barn and feast on hay
Rocking Horse, Rocking Horse, swing and glide back and forth
Back and Forth, back and forth

Laughing Language/Visual Vignettes

Imagine an adventure on horseback. Close your eyes. Feel the wind rushing past you as you rock at great speed. What’s your horse’s name? Where will you travel together today? Name all the things you see on your journey. Tell your story to a friend, write it down or draw a picture of it.

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Bow & Arrow

Archery is one of the oldest sports and requires skill, focus and concentration. The Bow and arrow was originally developed for protection and survival. Someone who makes bows is called a bowyer.

Bow and Arrow 1

Bow and Arrow 2

Instructions

  1. Begin in L is for Left.
  2. Clasp the big toe. Bend the knee.
  3. Inhale. Pull the bow back behind you.
  4. Exhale. Shoot the arrow skyward and across your other leg. Make a whooshing sound like a speeding arrow moving through the air.
  5. Maintain a long and tall spine as you practice your seated archery.
  6. Use the other arm and hand to press into the floor and support the lift of your spine.

Do this 6 times. Change sides.

Note for Parents and Teachers

Many children shoot the leg straight ahead or out to the side. This is common but not optimum. Help your child achieve the physical movement of crossing one leg over the other. It begins to make new grooves in the brain.

Activities for Home and School

Body Benefits

Bow and arrow opens the hips, lengthens the hamstrings, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the leg.

Brain Balance

Crossing the midline of the body with this movement stimulates the 300 million nerve cells of the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is known as the brain´s superhighway.

Math Medley

Help build your children’s counting ability while they perform this pose. Graduate to 2s, 3s, etc. When age appropriate, also reinforce their multiplication tables.

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Untying the Knots – Shake Like Jelly – Ragdoll Ann and Andy

Does your body ever feel like it’s been tied in knots? If so…. loosen up, untie, shake, flop, and relax.

Shake Like Jelly

Instructions

A. Untie the Knots

  1. Untie your neck. Roll your head around.
  2. Untie your shoulders. Move them up, down, all around.
  3. Untie all your knotted muscles and joints from head to toe. Massage and stroke them after you’ve untied them.
  4. Untie untill you feel nice and loose – like a goose or a moose without a noose!

B. Shake Like Jelly

Now shake like jelly. Shake all over. Go crazy. Jiggle, wiggle, and giggle. You know how.

C. Ragdoll Ann and Ragdoll Andy

Now that you’re untied and jellified, it’s time to hang out in a forward bend.

  1. Breathe in and feel your whole body lighten.
  2. Breathe out and fold yourself in half, bending from the hips. Do you feel like Ragdoll Ann or Andy?
  3. Loosen your neck and let your head and arms hang down. Soft and squishy just like Ann and Andy Ragdoll.
  4. To come up, place your hands on your tailbone and inch your fingers up your spine as you slowly straighten up.

Notes for Parents and Teachers

We know what it feels like to be tied up in knots. Children do too. Many times though, they can’t express how they feel without anger or lashing out. These poses are a great way to help them loosen up and relax. Talk about the differences between being all tied up and being loose as a goose. We all know which one feels better and produces those brain hormones, endorphins, which work like magic to help us feel gooooooood.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Awesome Anatomy

As you untie each muscle or joint, say its name. to find the names of most parts of your body.

Musical Musings

Put on some moving and grooving music. Untie. Shake. Flop and play Freeze and Flow – when the music stops, freeze. When the music starts again, flow.

We All Win

Twist a part of your body around a part of another person. Entwine arms, legs, toes or fingers and you see how twisted up you can get. Slowly, gently and peacefully untie. Hang forward. Hang out together.

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Swim Ducky

Oxygen is brain food, so the more you practice this breath, the smarter you’ll be! Your ducky will love the ride on your belly as she surfs on the waves of your breath.

Swim Ducky 1

Swim Ducky 2

Instructions

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Place a rubber ducky or a stuffed animal on your belly.
  3. Breathe gently in (your belly rises) and out (belly sinks down). Gently rock your ducky to sleep on your tummy.

Note for Parents

Swim Ducky Swim is a great bedtime technique. Place a stuffed animal on your child´s belly and read them a bedtime story that is about that animal. For example, if your child loves the Berenstein Bears, let her pick out her favorite bear to breathe with and read her one of their stories. If one of the If you Give a Moose… books is what he picks, he’ll choose that animal. Making bedtime a relaxed and nurturing time, will serve you and your child well.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Awesome Anatomy

Air comes into our bodies through our nose and mouth, travels down the trachea or windpipe, through the bronchial tubes and into our lungs. Trace the air´s path with your fingers as it moves from your nose all the way through your chest.

Body Benefits

This technique helps children understand how to breathe completely using diaphragmatic, or belly, breathing. The diaphragm is a muscle just below the lungs. It moves like an elevator — up and down.

Math Medley

Play a counting and guessing game with your child. Each night before bedtime, have him pick the number of breaths he thinks it is going to take for him to fall asleep. Advise him in the morning what the number really was. Is it greater than or less than what he predicted?

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Powerful Warrior

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Pedal Laughing

Laughter is an international language. Pedaling a bike is excellent exercise. Put these two together and travel to the land of ha ha he he health.

Pedal Laughing

Instructions

  1. Sit in a chair or lie on your back.
  2. Bend your arms and legs like you are riding bicycles in the air.
  3. Pedal forward: laugh.
  4. Pedal backward: laugh.

It might be hard to really laugh at first, but once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Have fun and be silly with this pose!

Parents and Teachers

Laughing is a great way to lighten up an intense mood or situation. If tension is mounting and bad moods are escalating designate a laughing break. Remind yourself and your children to look at the lighter side of things.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley/Awesome Anatomy

Count out loud or use a timer to see how long each person can maintain their pedal laughing. Time pulses and heart rates too. Make a chart or graph to look at the comparisons.

Body Benefits

Laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, boosts immune function and produces a natural body chemical called endorphins, which make you naturally feel good.

Musical Musings

Form a pedal laughing chorus or choir. High tone laughters are sopranos, low tone ones are bass. Medium low laughers are tenors and medium high are altos. Take turns being the conductors to bring in different voices, get louder or faster and to stop.

Nutrition Tip

Have fun with your food! Many of us have a “love-hate” relationship with food.  It is a necessary part of our daily lives but is often confusing, time consuming and takes us away from other activities we would rather be doing.  This week bring laughter into your life with the Pedal Pose and bring that laughter and feeling of play into the kitchen.

  • Have family members create their favorite meal – participate in the menu planning, preparation and cleaning.
  • Play music in the kitchen.
  • Keep fresh flowers in your eating area.
  • Practice cooking different types of foods – get the children involved in cooking new foods and new recipes.  Connect Food to cultures or countries your children may be studying in school.
  • Have family members select a vegetable or fruit of the week – something you have never tried – they find a recipe(s) and help with the preparation.
  • Try to sit down and eat as a family at least a couple of times a week – no TV, no phones, no computers.  Enjoy a fun relaxed meal together.
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Om a Little Teapot Triangle

This is our version of the classic pose, or asana, called Trikonasana. Tri- means three. Kona- means angle. Asana means pose. Three angles form a triangle. Can you find the triangles in this pose?

om a little teapot 1 om a little teapot 2 om a little teapot 3

Instructions

  1. Begin in mountain. Jump your feet and arms apart.
  2. Turn your right foot so it points to the right.
  3. Turn your left toes as far to the right as you can. Imagine a line from the back of your right heel straight into the middle of your left arch. Line up your feet on this imaginary line, to provide an even base for your triangle pose.
  4. Press down evenly through both feet and feel strength in your legs.
  5. Place your left hand on your hip as the teapot handle.
  6. Bend your right arm to form the spout. (Photo a shows through step 6.)
  7. Sing the teapot song, with these variations:

Om a little teapot short and stout.
Here is my handle.
Here is my spout.

  1. Release your left hand from the hip and slide it down your leg. Stretch your right arm straight out to the side, as you extend and lengthen the right ribcage and the hips move left. (Photo b)

When I get all steamed up, I reach out…

  1. From the hip hinge, tilt the upper body sideways right, as the hips swivel more to the left. Stretch your ribcage and spine away from the opposite moving hips. Release your right hand down. Lift your left arm up. (Photo c)

Then tip me over and pour me up . ..

  1. If you feel yourself pitched too far forward, lift your right hand higher on the leg and rotate your chest skyward.
  2. If it’s comfortable, turn your head and look up. If not, look forward or down.
  3. To return to center, just wiggle your fingers and return to an upright positon with your arms still extended out to the sides. Turn your feet so your toes point straight forward and jump back to center.
  4. Breathe in and out. Jump again to practice triangle and pour tea on the opposite side.

Note for Parents and Teachers

This pose increases strength and flexibility of the feet, legs, hips and neck. It helps lengthen the spine, too.

With young children, ignore the detailed directions of the feet. For children approximately 10 and older, or if they have been practicing for a while, we can begin to give them more details on structure and alignment. When they start asking questions, you will know that they are interested enough to begin to grasp the subtleties of shape and form in their poses.

Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom

Musical Musings

Here’s the YogaKids version of this classic rhyme. This song and other YogaKids favorites can be found on the Fitness Fun CD by Marsha Wenig.

Om a little teapot short and stout.
Here is my handle.
Here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, I reach out.
Then tip me over and pour me up.

Bridge of Diamonds

Instead of beginning this classic teapot rhyme with I’m, in YogaKids we start with OM. The yogis say Om is the sound of the universe. Uni means one and verse means song. When we join together, we make beautiful music!

Math Medley

There are three different types of triangles. They are:

  1. Equilateral (all sides are equal)
  2. Isosceles (two sides are equal)
  3. Scalene (All sides are unequal)

See how many different triangles you can make with your legs and arms.

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Bug Pickin’ Chimp

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Moo & Meow

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Hot Air Balloon

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Crow

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L is for Left

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Electric Circle

You are hot, filled with power and electricity. Sizzling!

Electric Circle

Instructions

  1. Sit cross-legged or in any comfortable position.
  2. If you are old enough to know right and left, place the left palm up and the right hand palm-down.
  3. Hold hands.
  4. Close your eyes.
  5. Imagine your heart. It is our power supply sending energy through our body.
  6. Feel the breath move across your chest, flow down your arms and into the hands that you are holding. Do you feel heat? A tingly feeling? That’s the electricity moving through your body.
  7. When you begin to feel it in your body, squeeze your friends hand. This is the signal to let each other know that a connection has been made. You have hooked up and the current is flowing.

Note to Parents and Teachers

Ask the children to tell you what is electric in their homes, schools and classrooms. Allow childlike answers for how these things work. It is important for them to express themselves through their own age-appropriate thought processes and words. Inspire and encourage their communication skills.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Laughing Language

Amps, volts and watts are three words to describe amounts of electric power or current. They are named after the scientists that “discovered” or “recognized” them.

Awesome Anatomy/Math Medley

Can you feel your heartbeat inside your chest? Your heart beats about a 100,000 times a day. How many times is that in an hour, a week, a month or a year?

Nutrition Tip

Our Electric Tongue

All foods have different tastes. Some are salty. Some are bitter or sour. Most of us like sweet and salty the best. Experiment with the tastes of different foods. Be brave and daring and try new foods. Our taste buds enable us to taste all the varied, wonderful flavors the world’s gardens have to offer.

Bitter tastes like the vegetable kale, are mostly sensed towards the back and rear sides of the tongue.

Sour tastes like lemon are mostly tasted at the sides of the tongue, at the middle and towards the front.

Salty and sweet tastes are most people’s favorite taste. These are at the tip of the tongue.

Excite and surprise your tongue with new and different tastes. Delight your taste buds and body with power foods like fruits and vegetables. Feel the electricity of health run through your veins!

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