Kids Yoga Story: The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

It is a beautiful story of adventure and friendship. A tiny snail meets a humpback whale; and the two travel together to far-off lands with a heroic rescue at the very end. Enjoy this lovely tale with twenty kids’ yoga poses!

This is a tale of a tiny snail and a great big, grey-blue humpback whale (Snail: Lying down on your back, lift your hips up and support them with your hands. Rounding your spine allow your feet to fall over your head. Move the weight of the body on the shoulders. The legs are straight with the feet touching the floor. If comfortable, stretch your arms on the floor clasping your hands. / Whale: Lying on your back, bring the feet close to you bending both the knees. Place the arms on the floor besides you. Using the support of the arms and feet, raise the lower back high up towards the sky. The shoulders are firm on the floor. Then, slowly bring the entire body back to the floor.). The sea snail gazed at the sea and the ships in the dock (Boat: Sit on your bottom, knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Lift both legs, shins parallel to ground, arms stretch forward, moving the upper body slightly backwards.). As she gazed, she sniffed and sighed. “The sea is deep, and the world is wide. How I long to sail!” said the tiny snail.

There were other snails in the flock, who all stuck tight to the smooth black rock. They said to the snail to be quiet and sit still. But the tiny sea snail sighed and sniffed and then cried “I’ve got it. I will hitch a lift!” With her silvery trail that looped and curled she said, “Lift wanted around the world”.

The whale came one night when the stars were bright (Star: Standing up, widen your feet placing them far away from each other. Lift the arms parallel to the floor. Extend the arms at shoulder level.). He sang to the snail a wonderful song of shimmering ice and coral caves (Cave: Open your legs wide but a comfortable distance apart. Lift your arms up over your head bringing your hands together.) and shooting stars and enormous waves. He held his tail out of the sea and said to the snail “Come sail with me.”

The sea carried the whale and the snail on his tail to towering icebergs. Penguins waved to them (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.). They saw fiery mountains (Mountain: Stand with the feet together, big toes touching each other. Keep the stomach tucked in, chest forward, spine stretched up and the neck straight. Bring arms close to your body. Eyes can be open or closed. Focus on the breath and the steadiness of the body.). The waves arched and crashed that splashed the tiny snail on the tail of the whale (Storm: 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.). Beneath the waves stripy fish and sharks swam round the whale and the snail on his tail (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. / Shark: Lying down on your tummy with face down, place your arms close to your body to the sides. Raise both legs from the waist. Raising your chest off the floor, extend your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together.).

Kids Yoga Flow of the Story with Stick Figures

The snail gazed at the sky, the sea, the land, the waves and the caves. She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all and she said to the whale “I feel so small.” (Look at the Sky: Place your hands on lower back fingers pointing down. Bring elbows together, shoulders down and back. Lift your chest up to the sky while arching back.) But then the whale lost his way… There were speedboats running a race (Boat: Sit on your bottom, knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Lift both legs, shins parallel to ground, arms stretch forward, moving the upper body slightly backwards.). They made the whale swim too close to the shore. The tide slipping away, the whale lied down on a beach in a bay (Relaxation: Lying comfortably on your back, close your eyes. Feeling the ground, allow yourself to melt downward. Let your feet and arms relax.). “Quick, back to sea!” cried the snail (Snail: Lying down on your back, lift your hips up and support them with your hands. Rounding your spine allow your feet to fall over your head. Move the weight of the body on the shoulders. The legs are straight with the feet touching the floor. If comfortable, stretch your arms on the floor clasping your hands.). “I can’t move on land. I am too big!” moaned the whale (Whale: Lying on your back, bring the feet close to you bending both the knees. Place the arms on the floor besides you. Using the support of the arms and feet, raise the lower back high up towards the sky. The shoulders are firm on the floor. Then, slowly bring the entire body back to the floor.). The snail felt helpless and terribly small. Then she started to crawl saying “I must not fail.”

At that moment, the teacher in a class was teaching, holding some chalk. And the snail was leaving a trail on the black board saying, “Save the whale”. All the children in the class ran from school to the beach (Running: Making a fist with your hands, bring them close to your chest. Start jogging/running on the spot.). The firemen dug a pool (Digging: 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.), squirting and spraying to keep the whale cool (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.). Finally, the tide came into the bay and the villagers shouted “Hooray!”

The whale and the snail travelled safely away. And the whale and the snail told their wonderful tale that the snail saved the life of the humpback whale. Then the humpback whale held out his tail (One-Legged Bridge: Lying on your back, bring the feet close to you bending both the knees. Place the arms on the floor besides you. Using the support of the arms and feet, raise the lower back high up towards the sky. The shoulders are firm on the floor. Raise one leg towards the ceiling.) and on crawled snail after snail. And they sang to the sea as they all set sail on the tail of the grey-blue humpback whale (Sailing: Sitting on the floor, legs straight in front of you. Pick the right leg up, holding it with your left hand. While stretching the leg out, twist your body taking the arm behind you.).

Relaxation:

What an adventurous story of the snail and the whale. A tiny snail meets a humpback whale; and the two travel together to far-off lands with a heroic rescue at the very end. A tour of the world is a dream that comes true for the snail. The snail is so brave that she leaves her home for the first time. At the end of this whole adventure, she has a great friend.

Now you can softly close your eyes and “dream” of something you always wanted to do but did not dare to do before. It might be riding bike, skipping rope, or cooking yourself an omelet… or something else… Would you like to try it just like this tiny snail? I will give you some time. Meanwhile you can imagine yourself doing it…

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!