Kids Yoga Story: A Squash and A Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

 It is another lovely story of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It is about an old lady who lives all by herself but finds her house just too small. Enjoy the story with seventeen yoga poses.

Once, there was an old lady who lived by herself in a very small house (House: Standing with your legs wide, hands together above your head, making a pointy roof). She had a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf (Table: Sitting on your bottom, with your knees bent, feet flat and hands behind you. Lift your hips up. / Chair: Standing with your feet together, or a little apart, bend your knees and lift your arms, sitting down into your chair). Every morning when she woke up, she did some exercises. She looked over one side, and then the other side. She nodded all the way forwards and all the way up. She ticked her head one side and tacked it to the other side. And finally, she went all the way around like the hand of a clock and the other way too (Neck Exercise).

One day, a wise old man heard her grumble. “There is not enough room in my house. My house is a squash and a squeeze” she said and asked for the help of the wise old man. “Take in your hen” said the wise old man (Hen/Malasana: Bend your knees deeply, sinking down until your hips are lower than your knees. Bring your palms together at heart center. Push your elbows into your knees to open your hips). She took the hen in, thinking what a curious plan it was. The hen laid an egg (Egg/Child Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body) and flapped round the room knocking over the jug (Bird: Standing up, bend forward from your middle, keeping your back long and straight. Your arms become wide wings floating up and down at your sides as you fly like a bird).

The little old lady cried “What shall I do?” “Take in your goat” said the wise old man (Goat: Sitting tall, legs out long, we bend one knee up. We hug that knee, then placing our hand behind us, bring our other elbow round to the outside of the knee, looking back over our shoulder). She took the goat in, thinking what a curious plan it was. The goat was so hungry that it chewed the curtains (Rub Tummy/Pat Head: Sitting with our legs crossed, we roll a hand round and round on our tummies, then we pat our heads at the same time).

The little old lady cried “What shall I do?” “Take in your pig” said the wise old man (Pig/Happy Baby: Lying on our backs, we bend our knees and take hold of our feet, keeping the soles of our feet facing up to the sky). She took the pig in, thinking what a curious plan it was. As soon as she took in her pig, the pig kept chasing the hen (Roadrunner: Standing up, fold forwards and place your hands down either side of your feet. Step one of your legs back and bend your front knee down into a lunge. Lift your chest).

The little old lady cried “What shall I do?” “Take in your cow” said the wise old man (Cow: On all fours, round your back up and then down). She took the cow in, thinking what a curious plan it was. But the cow jumped on the table and started dancing (Dancer: Standing tall, take hold of one leg. Lifting your other arm up to the sky, kick your back foot into your hand and tilt forwards). The little old lady cried “I am tearing my hair out, I am down on my knees. My house is a squash and a squeeze.” And she asked for the help of wise old man again. “Take them all out” said the wise old man. So she opened the window and out flew the hen (Flying: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong out behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings). She opened the door and out took the pig, goat, and cow (Door: Come to two knees, then stick one leg out to the side, reach up with one arm and tilt over towards your stretched leg to open up your door. Don’t forget to close it on the other side.). Then she looked at her house and said “There is plenty of room in my house! Thank you, old man, for the work you have done!” (Namaste: Sitting with your legs crossed, hands together at your heart, bow your head) Her house was not a squash and a squeeze anymore (House: Standing with your legs wide, hands together above your head, making a pointy roof).

Relaxation:

It is always better to change our perspective in a positive way. Take the little old lady, for instance. She thought her house was too small, first. But after living with four animals together, she realized that her house was just comfortable enough for herself. When you think you do not have enough clothes, or shoes, or toys, you may try to change your idea about what you have and thank for all you have. When you are ready move your fingers and toes, hug your knees into your chest. Roll over onto your side. We press ourselves up to sit, crossing our legs. We bring our hands together at our heart. Thank you for doing yoga with me today. Namaste!