Monday, February 3, 2014

Namaste: Yoga Storytime

Photo by papermoons
I've been seeing several inquiries around the web lately about Yoga storytime. I decided to share my outline that I created last spring. I held three 30 minute sessions over the course of 1 day. The first two sessions were geared toward ages 4 to 5 and the last session was geared toward ages 6 to 7. My co-worker presented this with me. It worked out nicely because one of us could lead the class and demonstrate the poses, while the other person could walk around and help the kids with their poses.

Now I semi-regularly take yoga at a studio so most of these poses and the format were pretty familiar to me. However, even if you haven't done a yoga pose in your entire life, you can still lead this program! The books YogaKids by Marsha Wenig, Yoga Games for Children by Danielle Bersma, and Storytime Yoga by Sydney Solis are all great resources.

Note: You can format/change up this program any way you like. This is just what I did and what worked for me!

Yoga Storytime Outline
(Play Yoga:II CD in the background)

·         Welcome – Talk about why we do yoga: to help relax, to help us grow stronger, to help us become more flexible, and to help us think better (better breathing = more oxygen to brain = better thinking); talk about the word Namaste (Sanskrit for “I see and honor the light within you.” It’s a good way to greet or say goodbye to someone in yoga class.)

·         Namaste w/ clapping – Say each child’s name twice w/ clap and tap, then put hands at heart center and bow and say “Namaste” (Remind the kids that it’s okay to fall or to not be able to do something – just quietly try again)

·         Warm-Up – Sit up tall (zip your zipper/happy body sad body)
  •  Neck: look left/right; up/down; side to side; rotate
  •  Shoulders: lift up and down (breathe in and out); then around
  • Legs: Apple butter rub-spread on legs and reach to toes  
  • Hands and Feet: Wave hello

·         Kneeling Poses
  • Cat/cow (meow and moo/breathe in and out)
  • Downward Facing Dog – wag tail; hold up each leg; bark!
  • Cobra – wiggle and hiss
  • End up in down dog

·         Standing and Balancing
  • Walk both hands to frog crouch; tickle toes; then up over head to tickle ceiling
  • Straighten keens to bend over to touch your toes; hang like a rag doll
  • Stretch up to the sun; arch back; reach to pick apples; make a rainbow in the air with arms - end in Mountain pose
  • Tree pose

·         Yoga Game – Animal Charades (4’s & 5’s); Pass the object (we used a red gym ball) with feet (6’s & 7’s)

·         Book You Are a Lion! by Taeeun Yoo


·         Quiet Time (w/ CD “Yoga Zone” Track #1 or #2) 
  • Have the children lay flat on their backs with their eyes closes
  • Turn out lights and play music
  • Read pg. 108 from YogaKids by Marsha Wenig
  • After the kids sit back up, roll a ball to each child and say "Namaste" then they roll it back to you and say the same

·         Closing Affirmation
  •  Stay seated with hands in heart position

I am smart (touch folded hands to forehead)
I am loved (touch hands to heart position)
I am wonderful (arms open up wide)

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