As part of mindfulness in our school, we have some mindfulness homework two days of the week. On Monday, children are encouraged to think about something or someone that they are grateful for. This is called Mindfulness Monday. Fourth Class also give us one mindful quote a week which is displayed upstairs and downstairs. On Tuesdays everyone in the school is encouraged to do a yoga-pose each week. The yoga poses are displayed here in order to save photocopying and to ensure our mindfulness is environmentally aware! For the rest of the year, our yoga poses will be taken from the excellent Yoga Pretzels: 50 Fun Yoga Activities for Kids and Grownups Cards by Leah Ayres and Tara Guber. Each of the teachers have a set of these cards for their class. As the title says, there are more than 50 yoga activities featured in the cards, we feature just a small number of these here.
Our next series of yoga poses need to be done with a friend or a sister, brother, cousin because they are double yoga poses.
Back to Back Chair
Lizard on a Rock
Here we will post up all the yoga poses we have learned so far!
Captain is a sassy, silky Poogle who is super strong at chair pose. This is a power pose that uses the ankles, quads and hamstrings as well as core muscles. It is challenging for most people but take inspiration from Captain who manages to eagerly lift his tail and arms and find opening in this asana!
Practice: Begin standing with the feet at hip-width distance and parallel. Bend the knees and sit back as if you were sitting into a chair. Make sure your thighs are parallel and that your knees are not ahead of your toes. Lift your arms to shoulder height or overhead to frame your fluffy ears! Relax your shoulders and breathe.
Message: See your powerful body and mind moving in this decisive, strong pose; you can meet any challenge. Embrace your puppy-power and inspire others to do the same. Chair Pose helps us to tap into our inner power and show it to the world like Captain!
K’ton is a bright-eyed Lhasa Poodle mix who happily and gracefully deonstrates Eagle Pose. This is an amazing balancing pose that stretches the upper back, improves balance and hip joint mobility. It is also lots of fun to try! Don’t forget to giggle when you fall; yoga is about playfulness, after all!
Practice: Begin standing in Mountain Pose and bend knees softly before shifting your weight to your right leg. Lift the left leg and wrap it over the right, hooking your toes behind your right ankle. Spread your arms out to the side and then swing right elbow under left, wrapping the arms. Bring your palms together to touch if you are able; if not, take hold of wrists or wherever you can gently grip.
Can you sit a little deeper into this pose as you lift your arms and upper body higher? Don’t forget to breathe here- phew! Feeling braver now? Try it on the other side, balancing on your left leg this time.
Message: You have a unique blend of energy, quality and personality that makes your very own personal magic! Just like in Eagle Pose, a balance and lightness will make it easier to become who you really are. Lift and fluff your tail too and let everyone see you shine just like K’ton!
Yoga Pose: Cobra
Ramona, the Teacup Poodle, demonstrates Cobra Pose with a skillful ease. This is a wonderful chest opener!
Practice: Begin on your belly with chin slightly tucked. Bring hands, palms down, by the side of your chest and squeeze elbows into your sides. Roll your shoulders up and back and gently curl your chest up. Keep your lower body and lower ribs on the mat, eyes looking forward.
Message: The magical qualities within you are coming alive. As you open your heart in this pose, imagine your inner sparkle coming alive to the world. Like Ramona, you might ignite more energy and shine along the way!
We have taken our yoga poses from the following excellent resources: Flow and Grow Kids Yoga, Kid Friendly Yoga for a healthier generation are both websites. Yoga Pretzels are a set of cards that can be purchased from any good bookshop. Yoga Dogs by Alison DeNicola is a deck of yoga cards and a book explaining each pose demonstrated by a variety of canine contortionists!