M is for Majestic 

USA, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring, mist over hot spring in winter landscape

MATERIALS

  • Markers
  • Rocks
  • Paper fire
  • Firefly templates
  • Glue sticks
  • Music for savasana
  • Breathing buddies

SHORT DESCRIPTION/TOPIC

Explore our national parks and the great outdoors.

DISCUSSION POINTS

  • There are 60 National Parks in the US.
  • In 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park
  • California has the most parks with nine, followed by Alaska with eight.
  • Have you been to a national park?

CONNECTING CIRCLE

Affirmations

  • I will stay on my mat.
  • I will keep my hands and my feet to myself.
  • I will always do my best.

POSES AS PATHWAYS/INTEGRATE THE ELEMENTS

Sunrise, Sunset – The sun has risen on our summer vacation.

Yawn and Flop

Stand in Mountain pose. Yawn as you stretch your arms upward with a big yawning sound and then flop forward in Rag Doll. Repeat several times.

Moo and Meow – Let’s kiss the cat good morning.

Down  Diggety Doggie Down – And greet our dog.

READING COMES ALIVE WITH YOGA  

Below is a list of National Parks from A to Z, and the poses are in bold.

Acadia (Maine)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat – Most of the park is on an island!

Big Bend (Texas)

Eagle – Big Bend has more kinds of birds than any other park!

Crater Lake (Oregan)

Waves – Crater lake is the deepest and bluest lake in the United States – 2000 feet deep

Dry Tortugas (Florida)

Talking Turtle – Almost all of the park is under water!

Everglades (Florida)

Crocodiles (Alligator Pose) – This is the home to many crocodiles! Did you know? Crocodile’s snout is pointed and V-shaped, and the alligator’s is wide and U-shaped.Alligators are only found in parts of the US and China, whereas crocodiles can be found across the world. Crocodiles prefer water that is more saline or salty than the alligator’s preferred freshwater habitat. Crocodiles can’t hide their teeth, but alligators’ teeth are sometimes hidden when their mouths are closed.

Key Nifords (Alaska)

Pigeon Series – Almost half the park is covered in ice, and is home to many species of birds!

Grand Canyon (Arizona)

Squirrel  (Dromedary Delight) If you’re at the bottom, it’s a whole mile to the top. Look up like a squirrel!

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)

Volcano – Lava erupts from the volcano and rushes down to the sea!

Isle Royale National Park (Michigan)

Wolf (Up Uppity Doggie Up)- Timber wolves run across frozen lake superior to this park!

Joshua Tree National Park (California)

Half Moon The trees as Joshua Tree are as old as 800 years, named after Joshua in the bible, like Joshua the branches seem to be pointing the way to heaven!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon (California)

Tree/Leaf – This is the home of the worlds biggest tree, General Sherman!

Lake Clark (Alaska)

Bubble FishThere’s so much salmon in the water, sometimes the water looks red!

Mesa Verde (Colorado)

Ladder to the Clouds – There are stone cities here that have been empty for 700 years!

North Cascades (Washington state)

Bunny Breath – This is the home of half of the glaciers in the lower 48 states. The snow shoe rabbit gets its name from its thick padded paws allowing it to walk on snow!

Olympic (Washington state)

Raindrops (Finger Dancing) – Here it rains 12-14 feet a year!

Petrified Forest (Arizona)

Lizard – The trees here turn into rocks! Let’s play on the rocks like lizards!

Queens Chamber (New Mexico)

Bat (Butterfly with Antennae) – This place has 700 feet deep caves!

Rocky Mountain (Colorado)

Big Horn Sheep (Lunges) – The symbol of the park is: big horn sheep!

Smoky Mountains (North Carolina and Tennessee)

Deer The smokey haze over the park are the vapors given off the  plants and mixing with the warm gulf air!

Grand Teton (Wyoming)

Mountain – Rocky mountains are a beautiful jagged wall of granite!

Upheaval Dome (Utah)

Comet (Swinging Pretzel – There’s a big hole in the ground caused by a meteorite, such as an asteroid or a comet, that originates in outer space and survives its impact with the Earth’s surface!

Virgin Islands

Jabberwocky Jellyfish or Squid – Explore the nature trail for snorkelers with buoys leading the way!

Wind Cave (South Dakota)

Tunnels (Down Diggety Doggie Down) – This place has over 100 miles of narrow tunnels!

Teddy Roosevelt –x Trail

Moo and Meow – This is named after the “x” brand of the X Ranch!

Yellowstone

Spouting Dolphin Yellowstone has the world’s largest collection of geysers – water seeps down, comes into contact with hot earth and erupts!

Zion (Utah)

Talking Turtle – Zion means a safe place away from the world! Let’s feel safe in our turtle shells.

VISUAL VIGNETTES

Have the children color a firefly coloring page.

QUIET QUESTS  (play music with night sounds or crickets)

Going on a Journey – Have the children camp out — i.e. have the kids roll up in their mats in Enchilada pose like sleeping bags.

Imagine you are camping out in your favorite national park with you family or special friends. You are warm and cozy in your sleeping bag. You hear the sound of crickets outside. (pause) An owl softly says, “ whoo, whoo”  (pause) You are tired from a long day of hiking, canoeing, and playing in this beautiful park. Your eyes float closed and you begin to hear the sweet sound of your own breath. (pause) You feel your belly float up and down… up and down. (pause for 2-3 minutes) As the sun rises slowly in the sky, it is time to wake up for another beautiful day in the park. Wiggle your fingers and your toes (pause). And slowly float your eyes open and come to sitting.

CLOSING CIRCLE

Circle of Friendship Flowers

Firefly Template

 

 

Walking in Sunshine

Sunshine with flowers and ladybug

MATERIALS

  • Blank sunshine coloring sheets
  • Markers, crayons
  • Stuffed animals/Breathing buddies
  • The Yoga Garden Game
  • Hula-hoops
  • Marbles
  • Fake flower decorations (optional)

SHORT DESCRIPTION/TOPIC

Students will have fun in the sun this class! With uplifting sun music, a sun salutation, and interactively playing in our yoga garden.

DISCUSSION POINTS

  • Sun, seasons, how plants grow, photosynthesis
  • Patterns (in explaining sun salutations) for 2-6 age group

CONNECTING CIRCLE

Students begin by lying down with legs spread in a V with feet touching, connecting around the circle with arms overhead. Students make a sun, each representing bright rays of… SUNSHINE! Bridge of Diamonds

POSES AS PATHWAYS TO LEARNING

Transformer Series/Sun Salutation – Sun salutations are poses linked together to form a pattern. Have student share examples of patterns. Show patters perhaps with colorful flowers or other items. The sun is very healthy for us! It gives us Vitamin D which helps prevent many diseases including: Type 1 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. The sun also gives us energy and happiness! Math Medley, Body Benefits, Ecological Echoes, Musical Musings

Play Reach for the Sun (YogaKids Fitness Fun Tunes) and do the following flow:

  1. Mountain
  2. Reach for the Sun (4 or 5 rounds)
  3. Exhale into Rag Doll
  4. Inhale/Step back into Down Diggety Doggy Down
  5. Exhale into Lizard
  6. Inhale into Cobra/Snake
  7. Exhale onto all fours
  8. Inhale into Moo and Meow
  9. Exhale into Moo and Meow
  10. Inhale/Push up into Down Diggety Doggy Down
  11. Exhale/Walk the dog up to Mountain, ready to repeat!

MountainI am strong, I am stable. The sun is shining bright. What could grow? Affirmations, Ecological Echoes

Acorn to TreeTrees grow as a result of sun and water. This is called photosynthesis, from the Greek phōs, “light”, and synthesis, “putting together”. Trees convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the trees activities (energy transformation). Ecological Echoes

Root and RiseOur roots keep us connected to the earth, and grounded – just like a tree. Feel your roots, and reach your branches tall towards the clouds and the sun. Ecological Echoes, Bridge of Diamonds

Walking with My Animal Hat – Play Walking on Sunshine or other inspirational music. This pose helps us improve our balance, posture, and concentration. Body Benefits, Musical Musings

Circle of Friendship Flowers –What type of flower are you (for older group) or what color is your flower (for younger group)? We All Win

Marble Toes – Plant seeds in the yoga garden. Set up hula-hoops around the room as the flowerbeds. Play Hula Hoops by Omi. We All Win, Musical Musings

Play The Yoga Garden Game (if time allows). We All Win

VISUAL VIGNETTES

Have the students color sun coloring pages, or have students create their own.QUIET QUEST

QUIET QUESTS

Savasana and Peace BreathClose your eyes. Relax your body. Feel how comfortable it is to relax your body on the comfort of your own mat, or your wonderful sunshine that you walked on today. Soak up the sunshine, soak up those rays, and enjoy the heat, energy, life and love the sun provides you. Breathe your belly up and down. Take a deep breath in, and breathe out and whisper peace. As you say peace, feel all the peace that fills your body. Sense all the peace that is filling the room. Send peace to the animals, the tress, the plants, and the beautiful flowers in our world. Send peace to your family and friends and everyone you love. Always remember to enjoy the peace and sunshine in your life.

CLOSING CIRCLE

Re-create the connecting circle sunshine created at the beginning of class. This time, ask students to shine their rays even brighter, and reach-reach-reach their arms all the way to the back of their mats.

Namaste

Ch-ch-ch-chia Fresca & Pudding

Ch-ch-ch-chia Fresca & PuddingChia Seeds

Chia seeds (chia hispanica) are amazing and nutritious. The originate in Mexico, where they have been cultivated for centuries. In fact, Aztec warriors used to carry chia seeds with them when they went into battle, and they were sometimes referred to as “runners food” because, it was said, eating just a small amount of these tiny, lightweight seeds could sustain the scout runners and warriors for an entire day. A chia seed can also hold up to TEN TIMES its weight in water! You’ll see how holding onto so much water gives the shell a slippery gel coating that allows us to make recipes like chia pudding. It also helps YOU stay hydrated (which means you have enough water in your body) because that gel coating of water and electrolytes is released slowly, as they make the journey through your digestive tract.

Today, scientists have discovered that chia is good for: balancing insulin levels and helping prevent diabetes, burning fat and providing loads of essential fatty acids, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. They’re good for your guts, bones, skin, and brain!

Let’s do some warrior poses and eat some tasty chia treats!

Chia Fresca

In Mexico, chia fresca is made of fruit juices combined with chia to make a gelatinous, cooling drink for summer. It’s typically made with lemonade, but all kinds of juices can be used! Let’s make a pitcher of chia fresca. It’s both filling and light, which makes it a perfect drink-snack for hot summer days.

Chia con Limonada (chia with lemonade)

(Makes one pitcher, or four glasses)

  • 48 oz cool water
  • 4 large lemons
  • 1/4 c of sugar (or sweetened to taste with your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 Tablespoons of dry chia seed

(a single glass)

  • 12 oz water
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon dry chia seed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener)

Note: If you’re using a type of juice that is already sweet or sweetened, you do not need to add any additional sugar

Stir all the ingredients together except the chia and make sure the sugar or sweetener is dissolved in the water. Add the chia seeds and allow the chia drink time to gel in the refrigerator. You will need to wait at least 4-6 hours for the chia to gel. You can make it before you go to bed and leave it to fully gel overnight. This lasts about five days in the fridge (but you’ll probably drink it all up before that!).

Chia Pudding

Chia pudding can be made into lots of flavors, using a variety of ingredients.

What you need, per serving of pudding:

  • 1 cup of a creamy ingredient, like milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
  • 3 Tablespoon of dry chia seeds
  • fruit juice, cocoa powder, or extract (like vanilla extract) for flavoring
  • Sweetener, as needed (Sugar, honey, agave syrup, stevia, etc.)
  • Optional: nuts and cut up, fresh (or frozen) fruit, shredded coconut, flax meal — for extra texture and flavor

You may also like this a little thicker, to make it extra pudding-like; or thinner, so you can drink it. You can add extra chia seeds to thicken it, and fewer chia seeds to make it thinner.

Mix all the ingredients well, and then add the chia seeds and shake or stir them in as much as you can. It’s helpful to put each serving, if possible, into a 1/2 pint jar with a lid so you can shake it up halfway through the gelling process. This keeps the chia seeds from settling to the bottom and clumping into a hard mass. Usually if you can shake it up a few times during the first hour and a half, it won’t clump, even if you leave it to fully gel overnight. I like to make this at bedtime so it’s ready for breakfast!

If you want to blend fresh fruit into your pudding so the whole pudding is flavored (versus using pieces of cut fruit), put all the ingredients into a blender – EXCEPT the chia seeds (this is important; they will not gel if the seed coating is broken) – and puree, adding the chia seeds to the blended mixture right before it gets sent to the fridge.

Follow these basic directions for all the recipes below. Lasts for about 4 days in the fridge.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • Coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Horchata Chia Pudding

  • Rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • Any creamy base “milk”
  • A little sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract

Fruity Chia Pudding

  • Use 1/3 cup of berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), or 1/2 large banana, or 1/4 c fruit juice
  • Use only 3/4 cup of creamy base
  • Sweeten if needed

Use a blender to blend chunky fruits and base mixture together before adding chia and refrigerating.

Be creative! What delicious flavor combinations can you come up with?

Math Medley

Using the one-serving size as your starting point, how much of each of the ingredients would you need to make enough servings for your family? Or for each morning of your school week (five)?

Laughing Language

Since chia fresca is a Mexican creation, can you learn to say all the ingredients of your chia treats in Spanish? Here are a few to get you started:

    • Milk – leche
    • Fruit – frutas
    • Lemon – limón
    • Strawberry – fresa
    • Vanilla – vainilla

What else are you using in your favorite chia recipe?

Ecological Echoes

Chia is one of over 3500 species of plants belong to the mint family — called Lamiaceae. All members of this family of plants have simple leaves that are directly opposite of each other on square stems, with five-petaled flowers that are fused into what looks like a single upper petal and one lower petal. All members of the mint family may not be tasty, but they are all edible. Some other members of the mint family include peppermint, spearmint, basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, savory, and thyme. Different types of mint grow all over the world…can you identify any wild mint plants in your local wildlife area?

Ch-ch-ch-chia Fresca & Pudding

Chia seeds (chia hispanica) are amazing and nutritious. The originate in Mexico, where they have been cultivated for centuries. In fact, Aztec warriors used to carry chia seeds with them when they went into battle, and they were sometimes referred to as “runners food” because, it was said, eating just a small amount of these tiny, lightweight seeds could sustain the scout runners and warriors for an entire day. A chia seed can also hold up to TEN TIMES its weight in water! You’ll see how holding onto so much water gives the shell a slippery gel coating that allows us to make recipes like chia pudding. It also helps YOU stay hydrated (which means you have enough water in your body) because that gel coating of water and electrolytes is released slowly, as they make the journey through your digestive tract.

Today, scientists have discovered that chia is good for: balancing insulin levels and helping prevent diabetes, burning fat and providing loads of essential fatty acids, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. They’re good for your guts, bones, skin, and brain!

Let’s do some warrior poses and eat some tasty chia treats!

Chia Fresca

In Mexico, chia fresca is made of fruit juices combined with chia to make a gelatinous, cooling drink for summer. It’s typically made with lemonade, but all kinds of juices can be used! Let’s make a pitcher of chia fresca. It’s both filling and light, which makes it a perfect drink-snack for hot summer days.

Chia con Limonada (chia with lemonade)

(Makes one pitcher, or four glasses)

  • 48 oz cool water
  • 4 large lemons
  • 1/4 c of sugar (or sweetened to taste with your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 Tablespoons of dry chia seed

(a single glass)

  • 12 oz water
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon dry chia seed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener)

Note: If you’re using a type of juice that is already sweet or sweetened, you do not need to add any additional sugar

Stir all the ingredients together except the chia and make sure the sugar or sweetener is dissolved in the water. Add the chia seeds and allow the chia drink time to gel in the refrigerator. You will need to wait at least 4-6 hours for the chia to gel. You can make it before you go to bed and leave it to fully gel overnight. This lasts about five days in the fridge (but you’ll probably drink it all up before that!).

Chia Pudding

Chia pudding can be made into lots of flavors, using a variety of ingredients.

What you need, per serving of pudding:

  • 1 cup of a creamy ingredient, like milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
  • 3 Tablespoon of dry chia seeds
  • fruit juice, cocoa powder, or extract (like vanilla extract) for flavoring
  • Sweetener, as needed (Sugar, honey, agave syrup, stevia, etc.)
  • Optional: nuts and cut up, fresh (or frozen) fruit, shredded coconut, flax meal — for extra texture and flavor

You may also like this a little thicker, to make it extra pudding-like; or thinner, so you can drink it. You can add extra chia seeds to thicken it, and fewer chia seeds to make it thinner.

Mix all the ingredients well, and then add the chia seeds and shake or stir them in as much as you can. It’s helpful to put each serving, if possible, into a 1/2 pint jar with a lid so you can shake it up halfway through the gelling process. This keeps the chia seeds from settling to the bottom and clumping into a hard mass. Usually if you can shake it up a few times during the first hour and a half, it won’t clump, even if you leave it to fully gel overnight. I like to make this at bedtime so it’s ready for breakfast!

If you want to blend fresh fruit into your pudding so the whole pudding is flavored (versus using pieces of cut fruit), put all the ingredients into a blender – EXCEPT the chia seeds (this is important; they will not gel if the seed coating is broken) – and puree, adding the chia seeds to the blended mixture right before it gets sent to the fridge.

Follow these basic directions for all the recipes below. Lasts for about 4 days in the fridge.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • Coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Horchata Chia Pudding

  • Rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • Any creamy base “milk”
  • A little sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract

Fruity Chia Pudding

  • Use 1/3 cup of berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), or 1/2 large banana, or 1/4 c fruit juice
  • Use only 3/4 cup of creamy base
  • Sweeten if needed

Use a blender to blend chunky fruits and base mixture together before adding chia and refrigerating.

Be creative! What delicious flavor combinations can you come up with?

Math Medley

Using the one-serving size as your starting point, how much of each of the ingredients would you need to make enough servings for your family? Or for each morning of your school week (five)?

Laughing Language

Since chia fresca is a Mexican creation, can you learn to say all the ingredients of your chia treats in Spanish? Here are a few to get you started:

    • Milk – leche
    • Fruit – frutas
    • Lemon – limón
    • Strawberry – fresa
    • Vanilla – vainilla

What else are you using in your favorite chia recipe?

Ecological Echoes

Chia is one of over 3500 species of plants belong to the mint family — called Lamiaceae. All members of this family of plants have simple leaves that are directly opposite of each other on square stems, with five-petaled flowers that are fused into what looks like a single upper petal and one lower petal. All members of the mint family may not be tasty, but they are all edible. Some other members of the mint family include peppermint, spearmint, basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, savory, and thyme. Different types of mint grow all over the world…can you identify any wild mint plants in your local wildlife area?

Orange Pops

popsicleThere is nothing better than a cold popsicle on a hot day!

The only problem is that most popsicles are filled with junk like dyes and artificial flavors. The only way to get around that is to make your own!

All you will need is a gallon of all-natural orange juice, a popsicle mold (found at any grocery store), and a freezer, an ice cave, or simply a very very cold place.

The prep is easy…

  • Pour your orange juice into the mold
  • Place the mold in the freezer
  • Let the juice freeze overnight
  • Enjoy next to a pool or under the sun in your backyard.
  • It is that easy, I promise.

Try this same method with your favorite juice (lemonade, watermelon juice, limeade, the sky is the limit). One of my favorite things to do is add a little coconut milk to the juice mix for a creamy, delicious summer treat.

 

Orange Pops

popsicleThere is nothing better than a cold popsicle on a hot day!

The only problem is that most popsicles are filled with junk like dyes and artificial flavors. The only way to get around that is to make your own!

All you will need is a gallon of all-natural orange juice, a popsicle mold (found at any grocery store), and a freezer, an ice cave, or simply a very very cold place.

The prep is easy…

  • Pour your orange juice into the mold
  • Place the mold in the freezer
  • Let the juice freeze overnight
  • Enjoy next to a pool or under the sun in your backyard.
  • It is that easy, I promise.

Try this same method with your favorite juice (lemonade, watermelon juice, limeade, the sky is the limit). One of my favorite things to do is add a little coconut milk to the juice mix for a creamy, delicious summer treat.