Down Diggety Doggie Down

 

Down Dog Pose

Dogs have been our best friends for over 12,000 years. They frequently roam in packs, just like many kids do!

Instructions

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in all fours.
  2. Bend your toes forward.
  3. Spread your fingers wide.
  4. Press your doggy paws and heels downward, as you lift your hips and tail to the sky.
  5. Lengthen your spine. Stretch your arms and legs as long as possible.
  6. Release your neck and head down.
  7. Growl, yawn, bark and make other doggy sounds!

Mark Your Territory!
Bend your knee and rotate your belly and chest upward. Raise one leg up and ‘mark your territory’ just like dogs do. Keep your hands pressing downward and your arms straight. Dogs leave their scent so other animals know they´ve been there. Lift your opposite leg too.

 

Note to Parents and Teachers

Take turns walking the dog. Children love to “walk their parents” and give them instructions too. This role reversal is very empowering and fun for the kids. Grab a hold of the back of their shirt like you´re holding a leash. Lead them around. Give them directions; slower, faster, turn around, sit, stay, roll over. Let your doggy rest after the walk. Have her lie on her back with her arms and legs in the air. Scratch her behind her ears. Scratch her belly too. Give her a bone and a kiss on her nose before she rolls over and stretches back into Down Diggety Doggy Down.

 

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Body Benefits
This pose strengthens the legs and arms as well as relieves stiffness in the shoulders. With regular practice, Down Dog can also help correct curvature of the spine such as scoliosis.

Math Medley/Musical Musings/We All Win
Play the Canine Calling game. One child creates a pattern of growls, barks and other doglike sounds. The other child repeats it, and adds more sounds. Go back and forth. Have fun with your whole family.

Awesome Anatomy
This pose works the muscles of the legs; ankles, calves and hamstrings. Share the names of all the body parts this pose can benefit!

Character Education
Dogs that are treated well have great loyalty to their owners. What does it mean to be loyal? What are some of the ways children can take care of their dogs? Grooming, feeding, loving…..what else can you do to keep your pet safe and happy?

 

See Saw

Instructions

  1. Stand back to back with a partner.
  2. Both partners take one “baby step” forward.
  3. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists.
  4. Keep your feet rooted to the floor and lean gently away from each other until you both feel a nice stretch opening your shoulders and chest.
  5. Come back to center, release your hands, and fold forward.
  6. Hang your body loose, then slowly roll up.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Science
Analyze the physics of this pose. What would happen if either partner let go of the other’s hands? Why does this pose work best with partners of approximately equal weight?

Art
Discuss the concept of symmetry in this pose and in works of art. Then ask your students to create symmetrical art of their own.

Body Benefits
Opens the shoulders, builds arm strength, and engages the core muscles. Builds coopertaions, trust and balance.

 

 

 

See Saw

Seesaw Triangle PoseInstructions

  1. Stand back to back with a partner.
  2. Both partners take one “baby step” forward.
  3. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists.
  4. Keep your feet rooted to the floor and lean gently away from each other until you both feel a nice stretch opening your shoulders and chest.
  5. Come back to center, release your hands, and fold forward.
  6. Hang your body loose, then slowly roll up.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Science
Analyze the physics of this pose. What would happen if either partner let go of the other’s hands? Why does this pose work best with partners of approximately equal weight?

Art
Discuss the concept of symmetry in this pose and in works of art. Then ask your students to create symmetrical art of their own.

Body Benefits
Opens the shoulders, builds arm strength, and engages the core muscles. Builds coopertaions, trust and balance.

 

 

 

See Saw

Instructions

  1. Sit with your legs wide apart in a triangle position.
  2. Flex your heels and bend your toes toward you.
  3. The person with the smaller triangle should press both heels into the other person’s inner ankles. Keep your sit bones planted in the earth.
  4. Reach your arms straight to your partner and take hold of each other’s wrists or hands.
  5. One partner bends forward at the hip hinge, while the other leans back. The person leaning back gently guides the other into a satisfying forward bend.
  6. After a few breaths, switch the person being pulled forward and the person leaning back. Gently rock each other back and forth.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley
Use the See Saw motion to help students master their multiplication tables. For example, you ask “2 X 2 equals?” Students rock and answer, “4.” You ask, “2 X 3 equals?” Students rock and answer in unison.

Musical Musings
As your students rock and forth in this pose, sing songs together. Rock to the beat. Younger children can sing nursery rhymes while older students can rock to, well… rock!

Body Benefits
The See Saw is a fun way to stretch the groin and hamstrings, open the hips, and strengthen the abdominal muscles.

 

 

 

See Saw

Instructions

  1. Sit with your legs wide apart in a triangle position.
  2. Flex your heels and bend your toes toward you.
  3. The person with the smaller triangle should press both heels into the other person’s inner ankles. Keep your sit bones planted in the earth.
  4. Reach your arms straight to your partner and take hold of each other’s wrists or hands.
  5. One partner bends forward at the hip hinge, while the other leans back. The person leaning back gently guides the other into a satisfying forward bend.
  6. After a few breaths, switch the person being pulled forward and the person leaning back. Gently rock each other back and forth.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley
Use the See Saw motion to help students master their multiplication tables. For example, you ask “2 X 2 equals?” Students rock and answer, “4.” You ask, “2 X 3 equals?” Students rock and answer in unison.

Musical Musings
As your students rock and forth in this pose, sing songs together. Rock to the beat. Younger children can sing nursery rhymes while older students can rock to, well… rock!

Body Benefits
The See Saw is a fun way to stretch the groin and hamstrings, open the hips, and strengthen the abdominal muscles.

 

 

 

Polar Bear

Instructions

  1. Begin by sitting on your heels.
  2. Open your knees wide apart, toes touching behind your.
  3. Bend forward at the hips and slide your chest along the floor.
  4. Place your chin on the floor or desk and put your hands (paws) over your nose to to keep warm.
  5. Breathe in and out for at least one minute.

 

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

 

Math Medley
Adult male polar bears can weigh between 750 and 1500 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, normally weighing 330 to 550 pounds. What is the difference between your students’ weight and that of a polar bear?

Ecological Echoes
Most bears hibernate. During the winter, they remain in a sleeplike state and are able to lower their body temperature, pulse rate, and metabolism. Do your students ever feel the need to hid or hibernate like a bear?

Poses as Pathways
The five “polar bear nations” where the ice bears are found are the US (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway. Find these places on a globe. What is the name of the geographic region where polar bears range? What conditions are similar in all these places, so that they can support the lifestyles of these bears?

 

 

Polar Bear

polar bear

boy in polar bear pose

Instructions

  1. Begin by sitting on your heels.
  2. Open your knees wide apart, toes touching behind your.
  3. Bend forward at the hips and slide your chest along the floor.
  4. Place your chin on the floor or desk and put your hands (paws) over your nose to to keep warm.
  5. Breathe in and out for at least one minute.

 

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Math Medley
Adult male polar bears can weigh between 750 and 1500 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, normally weighing 330 to 550 pounds. What is the difference between your students’ weight and that of a polar bear?

Ecological Echoes
Most bears hibernate. During the winter, they remain in a sleeplike state and are able to lower their body temperature, pulse rate, and metabolism. Do your students ever feel the need to hid or hibernate like a bear?

Poses as Pathways
The five “polar bear nations” where the ice bears are found are the US (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway. Find these places on a globe. What is the name of the geographic region where polar bears range? What conditions are similar in all these places, so that they can support the lifestyles of these bears?

 

 

Bubble Fish

Instructions

  1. Lie on your back, arms at your sides.
  2. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and open your knees outward to make a fish tale.
  3. Press your feet together and flap your legs up and down.
  4. Slide your hands, palms down, underneath your backside.
  5. Squeeze your shoulders together, press into your elbows and lower arms, and arch your back as your chest lifts off the floor.
  6. Place the top of your head on the floor.

 

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes
Imagine you have gills instead of lungs. Fish breathe by taking water in through their mouths and pushing it out through their gills. Feel your gills open and close you breathe. Make fish lips and blow bubbles!

Body Benefits
With the head upside-down, the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain increases, making this pose simultaneously energizing and calming

 

 

Bubble Fish

girl in bubble fish pose 

Instructions

  1. Lie on your back, arms at your sides.
  2. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and open your knees outward to make a fish tale.
  3. Press your feet together and flap your legs up and down.
  4. Slide your hands, palms down, underneath your backside.
  5. Squeeze your shoulders together, press into your elbows and lower arms, and arch your back as your chest lifts off the floor.
  6. Place the top of your head on the floor.

 

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Ecological Echoes
Imagine you have gills instead of lungs. Fish breathe by taking water in through their mouths and pushing it out through their gills. Feel your gills open and close you breathe. Make fish lips and blow bubbles!

Body Benefits
With the head upside-down, the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain increases, making this pose simultaneously energizing and calming

 

 

Swan

You are a graceful swan, sailing from side to side as you move smoothly through the water.

Instructions

  1. Begin All-Fours pose.
  2. Bend your lower legs, point your toes to the sky and glide your body forward.
  3. Lift your chest and lengthen your graceful neck.
  4. Drop your shoulders and keep your arms strong. Y
  5. Breathe in and out.

Activity Ideas for Home or Classroom

Affirmations
Play with the following affirmations while doing this pose:

  • “I am graceful as a swan.”
  • “I sail with ease through hard times.”
  • “I am gentle and beautiful.”

Musical Musings
Play Tchaikowvsky’s Swan Lake while moving around as swans.

Body Benefits
Practicing Swan pose keeps the spine and lower back flexible. and increases upper body strength. It can help to lengthen the neck, improve posture and broaden the chest to help counteract slumping.