Scenes from a YogaKids Training!

 

A YogaKids training is a totally unique and immersive experience. Because we believe that children learn better by doing — we ALSO apply this same philosophy to our training of adults! You — just like your YogaKids students — learn by engaging in activities and connections to art, music, literacy, and much more. If you’d like a sneak peek at one of our trainings, here’s an exclusive photo gallery of scenes from our recent Level 3 Transformations Training event in Newbury, Massachusetts at Roots to Wings Yoga and Healing.

And, remember, if you want to experience a YogaKids training — start your Certification today!

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Scenes from a YogaKids Class!

Kids in Roller Coaster Pose

 

A YogaKids class is not just a kids yoga class. A YogaKids class is a totally immersive educational experience — that is super-fun for kids of all ages! We include art, music, games, science, math, literacy, and much more into every class. Here’s a peak inside a recent YogaKids class by YK Teacher Jua Nnafie. The theme is our Wonderful World.

If you’re planning a YogaKids class about the Earth — we hope it gives you some great ideas!

And if you WANT to learn to teach a YogaKids class like this — start your Certification today!

 

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International Day of Peace Class Plan

International Day of Peace Logo

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is a global holiday celebrated annually on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Here’s a wonderful class plan for celebrating this holiday with your YogaKids!

AGE GROUPS

7-11, 12+

MATERIALS

What does Peace Feel Like by Vladimir Radunsky, paper and markers or crayons, music

SHORT DESCRIPTION/TOPIC

Children will explore what peace means to them and practice yoga poses to help them integrate the concepts presented.

DISCUSSION POINTS

Introduce the topic. The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day asks us to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. What ideas to you have to help celebrate this day with your family and friends?

CONNECTING CIRCLE

Peace Breath – Close your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Do these 3 to 6 times. As you say the word, feel the peace inside you. Send peace to the animals, trees and plants. Send peace to your family and friends. Send peace to countries in the world that are at war. Send peace to all the people you love.

POSES AS PATHWAYS

What does peace feel like? Read the book and present the following:

Peace in many languages:

  • Pace – Italian
  • Paix – French
  • Paz – Spanish

What does peace smell like?

Flower Pose – Sit cross-legged, lean back and place your arms under your knees and balance.

Pizza – Sit with your legs wide apart. Roll out and stretch the pizza dough to the right by slowly sliding your hands down your legs from your right thigh to your right toes. Then repeat on the left side. Now spread some sauce on the slice by moving your hands from side to side on the floor in the space between your legs. Add your favorite toppings.

What does peace sound like? Play some beautiful music of your choice.

What does peace taste like?

Popcorn: Start in child’s pose. Stay still and feel the warmth coming up from the popcorn maker beneath you. Now if you are ready – jump high into the air and POP. POP. POP. Repeat and pop!

What does peace feel like?

Sun Salutation – Start standing in Mountain pose, raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Fold forward into Ragdoll. Step back with right leg into a lunge. Step back with left leg to Lizard (plank). Slowly come down to the floor with your knees, chest and chin. Bring your hips down to the floor, and lift up into S is for Snake (cobra). Curl your toes under and stretch into Down Dog. Step forward with right leg into a lunge. Step forward with left leg into Ragdoll (forward fold) . Stretch arms outward and return to standing. Raise arms overhead and stretch upward. Repeat cycle, leading with the opposite leg.

Grugging – gGoup or individual hugs

Imagine what you could with peace.

Ladder to the Clouds Stand tall. Reach up and begin to climb a very, very, very tall, imaginary ladder. Climb all the way to the clouds and beyond. Now slowly lower to the ground as you climb back down to a crouch and rest in Child’s Pose.

PARTNER POSES

Standing Partner Stretch – Stand back to back in Mountain pose. Both partners take one “baby step” forward. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists. Keep your feet rooted to the floor. Lean gently away from each other until you both feel a nice stretch opening your chest s and shoulders.

Sit and Twist – Sit cross-legged in front of your partner with your four knees touching. 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. Breathe out, turn away from your partner, twist your spine, and look over your right shoulder. Switch sides and repeat.

GROUP POSE

Tree – Stand in a tight circle, each member lifts the right foot, bend the right knee, and press the foot against the inside of the left leg. Reach out and hold hands.

VISUAL VIGNETTES

Peace Drawing

Have the children draw their version of peace to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

QUIET QUESTS

Peace MeditationLie down and close your eyes. Notice your belly gently rise and fall. As you exhale, feel more and more relaxed. Imagine your exhale melting all your tension. (pause) Notice how you feel, imagine you are filled with peace. (pause) Now send peace to the animals. (pause) To the trees. (pause) Send peace to your family. (pause) Send peace to your friends. (pause) Notice how you feel. Now completely rest. (pause for 2-5 minutes) Now wiggle your fingers and toes. (pause) Stretch your arms overhead. (pause) Slowly roll onto one side. (pause) Gently come up to sitting.

CLOSING CIRCLE

Fountain of Oms– Everyone chants OM at their own pace and rhythm. We start together, but everyone’s duration is different. Just let the OMs keep coming at various intervals; some short, some long. Feel the Fountain of OMs wash through and around you. The sound and vibration is very powerful. Keep your eyes closed and keep chanting. Keep the OMs flowing and allow the sound to cease with its own natural conclusion.


Learn to write and teach your own YogaKids lesson plans!

Yoga & Me Come Be a Tree – A YogaKids Book Review

Yoga & Me Come Be a Tree book

Yoga & Me Come Be a Tree by Certified YogaKids Teacher and Occupational Therapist Tere Bowen-Irish is a lovely book that showcases various yoga poses in a very special light. Each pose is illustrated by two children performing a pose — one of whom is in a wheelchair. With this approach, the author does a wonderful job of showing how specific yoga poses can be modified for differently-abled children. And more broadly, how yoga is accessible to children of ALL abilities.

There are 2 pages dedicated to each pose. The only text is the name of the pose (including the Sanskrit name), and a short, simple poem about each pose. (For example, for Mountain Pose: “I am a mountain, strong and tall, When I look down, I see it all. I am made from rock, trees and granite. I am the strongest on the planet.” The book also includes a lovely introduction by Ms. Bowen-Irish that details how the book (and yoga, generally) can be used by parents, teachers, therapists, and other child-focused professionals.

Contact praxiscoachtere@comcast.net to order your copy!


Discover more about literacy and yoga in the YK Certification Program!

 

 

 

 

Wet Poses!

Swan
 

In traditional yoga, poses are categorized by the position of the spine. In the YogaKids program, poses are categorized by subject. This helps with planning engaging themed YogaKids classes! There are 20 categories of YogaKids poses — and one of our favorites is WET poses — a category for celebrating water and water-dwelling animals! Here’s a just a few…

Alligator: Lie down on your belly. Stretch your arms in front of you, one palm on top of the other. Open and close your arms like a jaw. Open and close your real jaw as you do this, too. Keep your legs together and lifted like an alligator’s tail. Gently bring your tail up and down.

Row Your Boat: Begin in L-Sitting pose and place both hands, palms down, alongside your hips. Lengthen your arms and spine. Lean back and lift your legs up. Balance. Stretch your arms forward, palms up. Breathe in and out. Row your arms forward. Reverse, and row your arms backward. Try the pose while singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Spouting Dolphin: Begin in All Fours pose. Lower your elbows to the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips. Grasp your elbows with the opposite fingers to keep proper spacing. Move your lower arms forward, interlacing your fingers, and make a triangle. Breathe in and out, letting your spine lengthen and your tailbone lift up and back. Work your legs as you press your heels towards the floor. Breathe in and out. Move your body forward so your chin touches down in front of your fingers. Then breathe out and lift out of the water.

Swan: Begin in All Fours pose. Bend your lower legs, pointing your toes to the sky. Glide your body forward. Lift your chest and lengthen your graceful neck. Breathe in and out.

Waves: Sit on the ground and bend your knees, placing your feet on the floor hip-distance apart. Move your knees and legs back and forth to the left and right, as they ebb and flow like waves. Use this as a transition pose between the wet poses. It is a fun and accessible hip opener.

There are many more Wet Poses in the YogaKids Program — and you should always feel free to make up your own!  (Or encourage your YogaKids to get creative!)


Learn all the YogaKids poses in our Certification Program!

Dino Does Yoga – A YogaKids Book Review

Dino Does Yoga by Sofie Engstrom von Alten is a delightful book with a sweet story and beautiful illustrations. There are many ways to incorporate yoga poses into the reading of this sweet book.  A lonely egg who has lost its way, soon hatches Dino.  Dino does many yoga poses including; sun salutations, warriors’ tree and child’s pose and finishes in relaxation pose.  Breathing, body benefits and even self-esteem are all incorporated in this sweet story.  Dino Does Yoga would be a great bedtime story because several energetic poses are taught at the beginning helping kids get rid of anxious energy followed by several relaxing calm poses that will help kids drift off to sleep just like Dino.  Book is ideal for toddlers to elementary age children.


Discover more about literacy and yoga in the YK Certification Program!

 

 

 

 

A Classroom Management Success Story

feet

Classroom management can make or break an educator. This is why, during our Level 3 Transformations Training, we talk a lot about classroom management. We teach what we know works — and we ask our students to share their own success stories. From YK Apprentice Beth Clemenger came this awesome story of success…

As a school counselor, I work with students with a variety of disabilities: autism, ADHD, learning issues of many varieties, and others. Several of my students have behavior issues and can be disruptive to other kids.

Last year, I got a new student. She was 9 and recently adopted from an international orphanage. She was, for the most part, nonverbal and had no concept of appropriate behavior. We decided to try her in my yoga class that only had 5 students. Also, in this class, I had a boy that would challenge me often by saying” I hate this pose” or “why are we doing this?”

I decided to talk to the boy about being the “mentor” for this girl. He had already had contact with her as she was in his class. She had a 1:1 aide with her at all times for safety as she would try to bolt out of the building.  

Well, the first class was a disaster! The aide was so upset because she could not get the girl to “do the yoga poses.” The mentor boy was upset because the aide was doing his job.

I talked to the aide about it being okay if she just sat on her mat — that was the first goal. I added more engaging music, put a breathing buddies on each mat at the beginning of the class, used more props (such as hula hoops, scarves, balls, bubbles, balloons, marbles). This was really engaging for the nonverbal girl and it gave my mentor boy a way to “show “her how to use the props. 

I also had to explain to the other kids how to best interact with this girl — so that her behavior did not upset them or disrupt their yoga experience. We moved her mat a little toward the back and placed the mentor boy directly in front of her. The rest of the students knew that this boy was her “helper.” I also asked the aide to participate doing the poses with the class. This helped greatly. Rather than having an adult correcting the modeling, the girl was better able to engage with the yoga.  

We love this story so much. The techniques engage and empower both students. Well done, Beth! Thank you for sharing!


Transform your teaching in the YogaKids Certification Program!

Sock Eye Pillows

Sock Eye Pillow Craft

Created as eye pillow pals for Savasana — but can double as Breathing Buddies — this Visual Vignette idea from Certified YogaKids Teacher Sue Beres is super-cute and easy to make. Fill newly purchased socks with lavender scented rice * and tie with a ribbon. Add the eyes with a glue gun.

*Please note: Kids with sensory issues may have an aversion to the lavender scent so it’s good to have some unscented ones available.


Get more Great Ideas when you train to be a YogaKids Teacher!

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Ball Yoga

beach ball

June 21 is the first official day of summer! Celebrate the season with this super-simple We All Win game! You can play it with 2 or more people — all you need is a marker, a beach ball, and knowledge of a few YogaKids poses! Perfect for classes and parties!

 

Instructions:

  1. Write YogaKids poses on each section of the beach ball. (See below for list!)
  2. Throw the ball to a friend to catch. If in a group, you can pass the ball or throw it to someone across from you.
  3. When you catch the ball, see which pose your right thumb is pointing to — and read it aloud.
  4. Everyone does the pose together.
  5. Keep going — and make sure everyone has a turn to catch and throw the ball!

 

YogaKids Poses to include:

Volcano – Begin in Mountain pose. Bring your fingertips together at the chest. Jump your feet apart. Place your palms together at the center of your body in Namaste Position. Breathe in. Watch your hands as you raise them over your head. Breathe out as you explode your arms outward. Lower them to your sides and return your hands to Namaste. Erupt and release again and again. Make big, exploding volcano noises. Jump your feet back together when you’ve finished erupting.

Lizard – Lie 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 in Plank Pose. Draw your shoulders back and away from your ears. Walk like a lizard, slowly and carefully.

Tree – Begin in Mountain Pose. Lift one foot and press your foot against the inside of your other leg. You can use your hand to place your foot anywhere between your ankle and inner thigh. Avoid the knee joint. As your balance gets stronger, you’ll be able to raise your foot higher up your leg. Bring your hands to your chest, palms together in Namaste position. Then raise your arms up above your head. Stretch them out wide, like the branches of a tree. Separate your fingers. Balance and breathe. Now repeat on the other side.

Snake – Lie on your belly. Gently squeeze your legs together to shape your body long and strong, like a snake’s. Place your hands under your shoulders and breathe in. Lift up your chest and head. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears. Breathe out and hiss the sound of a snake. Flick out your tongue. Lower your chest and rest on the ground. Repeat.

Eagle – Begin in Mountain pose. Lift your right leg and wrap it over your left leg. If you can, hide your right foot and toes behind your left calf. Bring your bent arms up in front of you and place the right elbow on top of your left. Twist together your forearms bringing your palms together. You can also interlace your fingers. Bend your knees. Untangle yourself and change sides, bringing your left leg over your right leg and your left elbow on top of your right. Try to balance for 10 seconds on each side and gradually increase the time. Use a focus friend if you need guidance.

Flamingo – Begin in Mountain Pose. As you extend one leg straight back, bend forward at the hips. Spread your arms open like graceful wings. Establish your balance by clearing your mind and fixing your attention on your breath. If you feel like flying, gently flap your wings. Repeat with the opposite leg.


Learn all the YogaKids poses as a YogaKids Teacher!

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Breathers

Dragon Breather Craft

 

From Certified YogaKids Teacher Melissa McDonough,  this Visual Vignette is a perfect addition to any dragon-themed class. Don’t forget the inclusion of the YogaKIds Dragon Breath Pose — a child-friendly variation of Kapalabhati that tones the abdominal muscles and energizes the entire body.

 

Dragon Craft Instructions

Begin with toilet paper tubes and decorate them  with markers and foam stickers. Then glue red, orange and yellow tissue pager to the center of the inside of the tube and lightly push the rest of the paper into the tube. When the kids blow into the opposite end of the tube, the tissue paper would come out like a dragon breathing fire.

 

Dragon Breath Pose

Sit comfortably in any of the seated poses. Place your hands on your belly. Breathe out through your nose with a strong snort as you snap your belly back toward your spine. Focus on your breath as it goes out. A little bit of air will naturally sneak into your nose after each snort — you don’t need to think about inhaling as it will happen naturally. Repeat this breath. Then breathe in and out normally. Add more rounds of Dragon Breath as you feel comfortable. Your Dragon Breath will get stronger and longer with practice.


Learn all the YogaKids poses as a YogaKids Teacher!