What a beautiful story of friendship! It is a beautiful day outside, but poor Bear is too sick to enjoy it. He is not feeling well at all. So, his sweet friends try to make Bear feel as comfortable as possible in his cave. Each one does something to make him feel better. Enjoy the story with twenty kids’ yoga poses!
Alone in his cave as the autumn wind blows, bear feels achy with a stuffed-up nose (Cave: Open your legs wide but a comfortable distance apart. Lift your arms up over your head bringing your hands together). He starts to roll where he lays (Rocking and Rolling: Lying down on your back, bend your knees and bring them close to your chest. Hold your legs with your hands interlocked at the fingers. Raising your head up and using the strength of the core, pull yourself up and come to sit while keeping the feet off the floor. Go back onto your back moving gently down and lie down again). Bear feels tired but he just can’t sleep. He sniffs and sneezes. And the bear feels sick (Bear: The feet lesser than hip distance, lower your hips and bend your knees. Leaning forward, stretch your arms in front of you bringing it parallel to the floor. Hands can be clasped).
His friends gather round “Come out, Bear, and play.” Bear shakes his head (Shake head: Turn your head to the left and bring it back to center. Turn your head to the right and bring back to center). “I am too sick today.” Mouse mutters “Oh my, Bear’s head is too hot.” (Mouse: Sitting on your heels, bend forward. Rest your forehead on the mat in front of you. Place your arms wherever you feel comfortable, they can be extended or down by your sides.) Hare says “We will help. Here is a warm, cozy spot.” (Hare: Sitting on your heels, lean forward. Stretch your arms and shoulders behind you. Interlock your fingers, opening your chest. Bend forward from your hips lifting your arms up to the sky.) Mouse squeezes Bear tight (Hugging: Sitting on the floor and crossing your legs, wrap your arms around yourself and give a caring hug). He whispers in his ear “It will be just fine. Your friends are all here.” Badger fetches water (Badger: High on your knees, curl your toes. Slowly lower down and sit on your heels with toes curled under. Bring your hands together in front of your chest, pointing the fingers down like paws). Squirrel cooks the soup (Stir the Pot: Crossing your legs place your hands on the knees. Begin to make circles with your upper body by rotating your spine slowly from one side to the other). Mole soothes Bear with a cool, wet cloth (Mole: On all fours, walk your hands to the front of the mat, bringing your forearms to the ground. Lower your chest towards the floor. Entire hips moving upwards, bring your face to rest on the floor). But Bear still feels sick.
Raven says “Come along Owl and Wren. Let’s go gather herbs to bring back to the den.” (Raven: Crouching down, place your hands on the floor. Place your knees onto the back of upper arms, close to your armpits. Balance the body here on your toes. Bending forward, put the weight on the wrists and the arms. Try to lift one foot up and then the other, focusing to look down. / Owl: Standing up tall on your knees, raise your arms spreading your wings wide and long. Keep your palms downward facing. Gently move your wings as you fly up and down. / Bird: Open your legs wide. Come halfway up into a flat back. Lift your arms out at your side like wings floating up and down as you fly like a bird.) They help Bear to sip just a little of tea. “You will feel better soon.” says Mouse. But Bear still feels sick. The friends cook and care. They keep a close eye on their poor sick Bear. They all talk in whispers. They walk on tippy toes (Tiptoes: Stand in Mountain Pose, pressing all the toes on the floor. Raise the body upwards balancing on all ten toes). Then the Bear starts to doze (Relaxation: Lying comfortably on your back, close your eyes. Feeling the ground, allow yourself to melt downward. Let your feet and arms relax).
They watch Bear for hours. Then the Bear wakes up. And the Bear feels good! Bear cries “I am all better. I am feeling like new. It is all thanks to you!” (Happy Baby: Lying on your back, bring your knees into your chest with the soles of your feet towards the ceiling. Gently grab the inside of your feet, pressing the soles deep downwards. Keep the shoulders relaxed with the neck.) “Let’s celebrate now. Let’s go out and play.” (Bear Walks: Press into your hands and feet and lift your bottom to the sky. Coming up onto your tiptoes, walk by lifting opposite leg and arm at the same time.) Then Mouse starts to wheeze, and Hare starts to sneeze (Mouse: Sitting on your heels, bend forward. Rest your forehead on the mat in front of you. Place your arms wherever you feel comfortable, they can be extended or down by your sides. / Hare: Sitting on your heels, lean forward. Stretch your arms and shoulders behind you. Interlock your fingers, opening your chest. Bend forward from your hips lifting your arms up to the sky.). And the friends feel sick! Bear murmurs “Don’t worry” and tucks them in bed (Bed: Sitting on your bottoms, walk your hands behind you, fingers pointing towards your hips. Feet flat, bend your knees. Lift your hips up off the ground). He tells all his friends “You will soon feel like new. You took care of me, now I will take care of you.”
What a beautiful story of friendship! It is a beautiful day outside, but poor Bear is too sick to enjoy it. He is not feeling well at all. So, his sweet friends try to make Bear feel as comfortable as possible in his cave. Each one does something to make him feel better. Bear starts to get better.
True friendship means being with him in his bad times as well as good times. To help, support, sometimes to look after, or only to listen and sit with him… These are some of the things that remind me a true friendship. Now you may softly close your eyes and think of your best friend/s. Take a deep breath through your nose. And send your thanks and love to your best friends while breathing out…
When you feel ready, you can slowly start to move your fingers and toes. Pulling your knees to your chest, give them a big hug. Rolling over to one side, lift up to a comfortable sitting position. Bring your hands together in front of your chest. Thank you for doing yoga with me today. Namaste!
Another lovely Bear story from Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is Bear Wants More.