Kids Yoga Story: Don’t Be Afraid, Little Pip by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

It is the day that all baby penguins are going to learn to swim, but little Pip is afraid. Will Pip ever find the courage to soar beneath the waves with all the other penguins? Enjoy this lovely story with nineteen kids’ yoga poses.

Little Pip looked out at the large ocean (Penguin: Standing with your legs and heels together, arms to sides and palms facing down, now let’s walk and waddle side to side like a penguin). Today was the day all young penguins were learning how to swim (Swimming: Lying on your tummies, stretch the arms out in front of you. Raise the right leg and left arm up. Balancing the body on the tummy, keep the other leg and arm on the floor. Lowering the arm and leg, switch sides). Pip sighed. The ocean looked awfully dark and deep. I’d much rather fly than swim, she thought.

Mummy and Daddy were excited because it was a big day of Pip. “But I am a bird, and birds fly.” frowned Pip. “Don’t be afraid, Little Pip. Penguins don’t fly, we swim. That’s what makes us special.” said Mummy. “I still just want to fly.” Pip whispered (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).

Soon all the young penguins were gathered at the shore (Chick: From Downward Facing Dog Pose, bring the right foot in between the hands. Drop the left knee on the floor. Bending forward, straighten the right leg by walking with the toes in front. Slowly lift the toes off the ground. Keep the shoulders away from the ears and try to extend the arms as far towards the back as possible. Keep the elbows straight). Their teacher Mr. Tucks said, “Swimming is an art, and you must learn properly.” A penguin “I can’t wait! Can you?” said to Pip. “Hi! I’m Merry. What’s your name?” Pip mumbled her name. “Hello Pip. This will be the best day of our lives! Are you excited?” “Pip shook her head, standing on a rock (Rock: 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). “It is a bit scary. What is under there, in the dark?” “All sorts of wonderful things like octopus, giant sea plants, coral forests” said Merry (Octopus: Lying on your back, raise your legs and arms up. Move your legs and arms in all directions and very slowly. / Tree: Standing tall, bend your right knee. Place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Bring your hands in front of your heart or you can lift your arms up to the sky.).  “We are birds. Shouldn’t birds fly?” said Pip. Merry laughed “Not penguin birds, silly.” Mr. Tucks called out “Line up one by one. It is time to begin.” (Penguin: Standing with your legs and heels together, arms to sides and palms facing down, now let’s walk and waddle side to side like a penguin.) In all the excitement, Little Pip slipped away. “No swimming for me,” she said. I can learn to fly, I just need some help, thought Pip. Ahead, Pip saw a snow petrel (Pigeon: On all fours, bring your right knee to your right wrist. Your shin may be in line with the short end of the mat. Stretch the left leg out behind. Come to your fingertips and push the chest out. And you may fold over your front leg). “She can help!” cried Pip, racing towards the big bird. “Hello, I want to fly. Can you help me?” asked Pip. “You look like a penguin to me. And penguins don’t fly.” said the petrel. Pip pointed to her feathers “I have wings. I am a bird, too, so I can fly.” Then the petrel taught her to flap her wings and lift up her beak, look to the sky and fly (Flying: Standing straight with your feet together, bend your upper body forward bringing it parallel to the floor. Balancing on your right leg, raise your left leg and stretch it behind you. Extend the arms out at shoulder level). Pip ran, flapped, flapped some more (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). She leaped and fell. Her beak was full of sand.

Kids Yoga Flow of the Story with Stick Figures

Pip waddled on until she came to another bird. It was a giant albatross (Albatross: Standing up, bend your knees and drop your hips until your upper leg is as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Stretch the arms out at shoulder level). “Hello, I want to fly. Can you help me?” asked Pip. “Look, I have black wings just like yours.” said Pip. “Well, you are determined, I will give you that,” said the albatross. He stood on a ledge by the edge of the sea (Diver: Standing tall with feet together, go down to touch the floor with your hands, stretching the entire spine and the legs. Raise the hands slowly taking them close to your body towards the sides. Bring the body on your toes and remain here bending still at the hips.), lifted his wings and spread them wide and away he flied. Pip found a ledge, climbed (Climbing: Standing tall, raise one leg slowly up and lift the opposite arm as if you are climbing up). She spread her wings, jumped and she fell right into the cold, dark sea!

“Help! Help me!” she cried. Under the water, she felt something grab hold of her and push her up into the air. It was Merry! “You are in the water so you’d better swim. Take a deep breath, kick your feet and flap your wings. I will help you.” Pip held her breath, kicked and flapped and swam! (Swimming: Lying on your tummies, stretch the arms out in front of you. Raise the right leg and left arm up. Balancing the body on the tummy, keep the other leg and arm on the floor. Lowering the arm and leg, switch sides.) She saw schools of fish as bright as a rainbow in the sky (Fish: Extend your legs long and point your toes. Drop down onto your elbows, resting on your forearms. Slide your hands underneath your buttocks. Lift your chest up, letting the head rest lightly on the mat). Deep under the water into the dark blue sea went Pip (Ashtangasana: Coming on all fours, bend the elbows and slowly lower the chest and shoulders between the palms. Resting the chest on the floor, raise your hips up. Elbows closer to the rib cage, bring the chin to rest on the floor. Balance your body on your palms, chin, chest, knees and toes). Then, she came up for air (Bhujangasana: Lie on your tummy, bring the hands up by the side of the chest, push the hands into the floor and lift your chest up). “Thank you, Merry! I am flying under the sea!” she cried. Splashing through the waves, Pip and Merry swam together all the way back to the shore. Mummy and Daddy gave her a big hug (Hugging: Sitting on the floor and crossing your legs, wrap your arms around yourself and give a caring hug). “Little Pip, you can swim” they said. They all snuggled together, and Pip sang “Now I can swim and now I can fly!”

Relaxation:

It is a lovely story about overcoming fear and learning something new. Little Pip is afraid to swim and would rather fly. She doesn’t realize how special her ability to swim until she accidentally falls into the water. Her new friend Merry helps her see how much fun being a penguin can be! After trial and error, she enjoys learning something new, even by accident. She learns to appreciate her wonderful ability as a swimmer. 

Now it’s your turn … if you want, you may close your eyes, lying down. Perhaps, this will make it easy for you to imagine. Now imagine yourself doing something that you wanted to do but didn’t dare to do. Maybe it’s swimming like Pip, or riding a bike, maybe a nice dance show, or cooking your favorite pasta… If you could take one small step today towards your wish, what would it be?.. From whom can you get support for this wish to come true?.. Your parents, teachers, or friends… What would motivate you to try something new and different? Maybe now you want to visualize yourself performing this new action. Visualizing can also motivate you…

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!