Summer is here in full force and because it is my favorite season I have decided to share some of my other favorites with you, my favorite yogis, yoginis, and seedlings…
A catchy song sung by Common and Colbie Caillat teaches Elmo and children emotion self-regulation. “Place your hands on your tummy now your ready to begin, put your hands on your belly and you slowly breathe in, b-b-breathe, belly- belly breathe…” Click here to check it out on Youtube. **Teaching tip: In class we have fun pretending to be angry monsters and then follow the steps in the song to calm down- belly breathing until we feel like ourselves again.
My favorite series for videomodeling is Junior Yogis on Youtube. These videos are great for older school-age, junior high and high school students. Each video targets specific skills such as concentration and balance (click here for Side Plank, Flute Pose, and Crow Pose), calming and releasing negativity (click here for Downward Facing Dog and Child’s Pose), and more (click here)! **Teaching tip: the instructions may be a bit complicated or too fast paced for some children, so I take advantage of the pause button frequently.
Last but not least is a trick for engaging children story time. Some of our children have a limited attention span for books, which can be frustrating for parents because we are all aware of the benefits of reading for speech and language development, academic success, and functional living skills. I like to bring stories to life by adding yoga poses to the characters and scenes of the book. For example, if the story is about a dog we will do downward and upward dog pose as we read. Books about animals provide lots of opportunities to move our bodies; a few of my favorites are: Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, and My Daddy is a Pretzel, by Baron Baptiste and Sophie Fatus. **Teaching tip: not all pages need a pose and not all poses need to be true yoga poses. I encourage my students to show me what they think an animal or object might look like in their own pose.
I hope you find this post useful as you enrich the lives of children by incorporating yoga into your life. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave comments or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.