Kids Yoga Story: The Chimpanzees of Happy Town by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Yoga Flow of the Story with Stick Figures

It is a heart-warming story about the importance of love and happiness in everyone’s lives. The chimpanzees of the town are miserable. The wicked mayor won’t allow them to have any fun. However, the traveller Chutney dares to plant a tree. And the town begins to blossom into a colorful land of dancing, playing, and laughing. Enjoy the story with twenty four kids yoga poses.

There was a town where all the houses looked the same and all of them were grey (House: Open your legs wide but a comfortable distance apart. Lift your arms up over your head bringing your hands together). Children were unhappy because there were no parks to play in (Child Pose: 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). There were no trees at all (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). And the chimpanzees who lived there all felt very sad (Monkey: Crouching down, leap up like a monkey into the air).

Chutney was a traveler. He travelled far and wide. He came home with a box one day, which had a seed inside (Treasure Chest: From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together. Fold forward, resting your hands on your feet. Your head should hang down toward your heels). He planted it (Seed/Knee Hugging: Lie on your back. Feet together, bring your knees towards your chest. Clasp your hands around your legs as if you are hugging your knees), and watered it (Hose: Sitting tall, fold the right knee and place the right foot close to the right hip on the floor. Raise the left leg up, holding the leg with your hands), and watched it slowly grow (from Malasana: Opening legs up about hip distance, squat down. You may keep the heels on the floor or place a rolled-up towel under the heels. You can bring the palms in touch in front of your chest. rise to 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). Until one day, the mayor looked down and shouted from way up in his palace “No, no, No! Chop it down!” (Woodchopper: Standing up, bring your feet wide apart more than hip distance. Taking the arms behind you, interlace your fingers behind your back. Fold forward letting your arms drop over your head) “You cannot grow things in this town. Guards, throw that chimpanzee into jail!” So, Chutney went to prison where his cell was cold and bare (Face Door: Either standing or seated cross the forearms over each other holding opposite elbows. We lift our arms above our head, like the little face door is opening). And the mayor left for his winter break to catch some country air.

But meanwhile, back at Chutney’s house, the boy and girl next door said, “We must water Chutney’s seed, and make it grow once more.” (Hose: Sitting tall, fold the right knee and place the right foot close to the right hip on the floor. Raise the left leg up, holding the leg with your hands). And with the children’s love and care, the seed stretched out its shoots and grew up tall and strong (from Malasana: Opening legs up about hip distance, squat down. You may keep the heels on the floor or place a rolled-up towel under the heels. You can bring the palms in touch in front of your chest. rise to 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). And one day, Chutney from his prison cell saw the leaves and flowers of his beloved tree (Flower: Sitting tall, bring the soles of your feet together. Slide your hands underneath your legs and take hold of your ankles. Balance on sitting bones). It gave him strength and hope. It made him happy. And at last, they let him out. He first saluted the Sun (Hello Sun: Stand with the feet hip distance apart. Lift your arms upwards and continue the movement doing a back bend), and then said, “There is work to do!”

He gathered everyone living in the town and gave a speech. “Chimpanzees, this town is dead. The streets are all the same. Let’s celebrate our differences. Let’s make it fun again! Let’s make our houses colorful just like a rainbow!” (Rainbow: Coming onto your knees, extend one leg to the side. Placing your opposite hand down to the other side, lift your other arm up and over your ear making a beautiful rainbow) “And let’s change its name to Happytown!” The chimpanzees fist fell silent and thought he was right. Then they began to cheer. They started to paint their houses. Then Chutney stopped and looked up at the palace of the mayor and said “The children need a place to play. Let’s build it there!” They pulled the palace down and built a playground with some swings, slides (Slide: Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. Place your hands on the floor behind you, fingers pointing towards your bottom. Pointing your toes, raise the entire body upwards), a roundabout (Standing Spinal Twist: Standing tall, extend your arms at shoulder level palms facing down. Sweep both hands to the left keeping the rest of the body facing front. Twist one way and then repeat on the other side, keeping your feet on the ground), and loads of other things. “Let’s have a party with yummy things to eat!” said Chutney (Pat head/Rub tummy: Sitting with our legs crossed, we roll a hand round and round on our tummies, then we pat our heads at the same time). There was dancing in the street (Dancer: Standing tall, lift your right leg up towards your bottom and grab it with your right hand. Lift your leg up to the sky. Pull the right arm and leg up so that they form a bow behind the back. Open the chest and shoulders feeling the stretch).

Everyone was happy now except the mayor, who came back to his palace, but his palace wasn’t there. “Enough! Guards, seize them, everyone!” he said (Warrior 1 – stop variation: Standing up, step one foot forward and bend into the front knee. Turning the back toes out, take your arms forward and lift your palms as if pushing or stopping something.). But the guards just laughed and said, “We are having too much fun!” So, they put the mayor in prison until one day, the new mayor came and opened up his cell (Door: Standing on your knees, extend your right leg to the right. Lift the left arm over head toward the right. Slide the right hand down the right leg. Keeping your chest open, bend toward the right side.). Mayor Chutney said “You see my tree? Everything we cut down will find a way to grow. And things will always blossom if we dare to set them free.” (Group 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.)

Relaxation:

What a heart-warming story about the importance of love and happiness in everyone’s lives. The chimpanzees of the town are miserable. The wicked mayor won’t allow them to have any fun. However, the traveller Chutney dares to plant a tree. And the town begins to blossom into a colorful land of dancing, playing, and laughing. His beautiful tree helps to spread color and happiness throughout the town. It is good to care for other people and for the surrounding environment. Caring makes you feel happy. You can now gently close your eyes and think how to be more caring to your surroundings… Maybe you share your belongings… or you may act out in kindness, saying please and thank you… you might be helpful to people in need… give yourself some time and feel your body relaxed when you think more about caring…

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!

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