Kids Yoga Story: Zog and The Flying Doctors by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Everyone’s favorite accident-prone dragon, ZOG, is back! Zog the dragon returns with a girl-power princess story about being true to yourself!  Zog the dragon, Princess Pearl, and Sir Gadabout have taken to the skies! Enjoy the story with twenty-two yoga poses.

Yoga Flow with Stick Figures

Meet the Flying Doctors – a dragon, knight and girl. Their names are Gadabout the Great, and Zog, and Princess Pearl (Flying/Warrior 3: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings and fly). Pearl gives people medicine and Gadabout is expert at performing operations. Zog is good at flying though not quite so good at landing (Dragon: Coming down onto one knee, lift and extend your arms and link your thumbs together, making a fan with your fingers like a dragons haircut. Take a big breath in through your big dragon nostrils and open your mouth, sticking out your tongue as you breath out dragon fire).

Flying high one morning they heard a mermaid wail (Mermaid: Sitting tall with our legs out long we swish our legs round to one side, then looking over our shoulder. Then we do it on the other side). “I am sunburnt and it hurts!” she cried. The mermaid’s skin was red. Pearl rubbed in some special cream (Sunscreen: Standing tall, we squirt our imaginary bottle of sunscreen into our palm, then begin to pat our body all over it. Arms, legs, body, back, face… everywhere!). “Thank you!” said the mermaid, and she waved goodbye as the team of flying doctors sped away into the sky.

As the sun rose higher, they saw a unicorn (Unicorn: One knee down, one knee up. Lift and join your hands up high above your head). He pawed the ground and whinnied “I have grown extra horn!” The flying doctors landed. “I’ll help you,” said the knight. He cut the horn off gently. “Thank you!” said the unicorn and the team of flying doctors sped away into the air.

Halfway through the afternoon they heard a lion sneeze (Lion: Kneeling up, hands wide, stick out your tongue and roar). “I have caught the flu” the lion roared. “Can someone help me, please?” Pearl said, “Take this pill and keep warm!” The lion’s cave was chilly, so Zog said, “Fetch some wood.” Then he breathed out lots of flames until the fire burned bright and good (Dragon Fire Breaths: We criss cross our fingers underneath our chin. We take a deep breath in and lift our elbows to frame our face. As we breath out we lift our head and open our mouths to the sky to let the air out like we are dragons breathing fire, letting our elbows come back down). “Thank you,” roared the lion. “I am feeling nice and warm.” Then the team of flying doctors sped away into the storm.

As evening fell, they saw a great big palace down below (House: Standing with your legs wide, hands together above your head, making a pointy roof). “My uncle’s house! Let’s go and say hello.” Said Princess Pearl. Pearl’s uncle was the king. He didn’t say hello. Instead he said “You naughty thing! Where have you been? You look an awful mess. What has happened to your crown? And where is your pretty dress?” “But Uncle, can’t you see that I am a doctor now?” said Pearl. The king replied, “Princesses can’t be doctors, silly girl!” He told his men to seize her and lock her up inside (Egg Pose: Sitting on our bottoms, we hug our knees into our chest. See if you can stay balanced as we lift the toes off the ground and balancing here). Princess Pearl was furious. Weeks went by, and she spent many hours sewing pretty cushions and arranging pretty flowers.

The others tried to rescue her with all their might (Warrior 2: Standing with your feet wide, bend your front knee and spread your arms out wide / Reverse Warrior: Step one foot forward and turn the back toes out to the side. Bend into the front knee and take the arms wide. Take the hand down onto the back leg and lift the other arm up into the sky, leaning the body back. Look up to the top hand). But they simply couldn’t manage – all their efforts were in vain. Each night they flew to visit her and perched upon her sill (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 one dark night she told them that the king had fallen ill. He called a lot of doctors but they simply couldn’t say what his illness was.

They didn’t know the answer, but Pearl was pretty sure. “It looks like orange fever,” and she read about the cure (Book: Sitting with the feet flat and knees bent, place hands on knees and guide the knees open into butterfly position – like you are opening a book). “Grated horn of unicorn, a mighty lion’s sneeze, some mermaid’s scales, a little slime, half a pound of cheese.” She told the others what to get. “And be very quick! My uncle could be dying – he looks extremely sick.”

They reached the lion’s den (Bow down in Dragon Pose). He sneezed for them (Lion: Kneeling up, hands wide, stick out your tongue and roar). And then they flew back to forest, where the grateful unicorn was very pleased to give them his unwanted sawn-off horn (Unicorn: One knee down, one knee up. Lift and join your hands up high above your head). Back to mermaid’s rock they flew. She gladly gave some scales (Mermaid: Sitting tall with our legs out long we swish our legs round to one side, then looking over our shoulder. Then we do it on the other side). And her sea snail friends allowed them to collect their slimy trails (Childs Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body). Then they flew and landed on the bedroom windowsill. Princess Pearl said thank you for the scales, the slime, the sneeze, and the horn (Namaste: Sitting with your legs crossed, hands together at your heart, bow your head and say “Namaste”) which then she grated up with half a pound of cheese.

She tiptoed to her uncle’s room (Tiptoes: We come high up onto our tiptoes very quietly). The king lay in his bed. She held a spoonful to his mouth. After just one spoonful her uncle felt much stronger. After spoonful two he wasn’t orange any longer. After spoonful three, the king was dancing with delight (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). “Princesses can be doctors – you were absolutely right! I am sorry that I locked you up. Of course you must go free, but do come back to visit me.” “Hooray!” cried Pearl and out she ran to join the other two. Then off into the sunset sped the flying doctors crew (Flying/Warrior 3: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings and fly).

Relaxation:

About the value of letting your talent shine:

What an adventurous story! The flying doctors are on duty. But Princess Pearl’s unconventional career path doesn’t sit so well with her uncle, the king. He thinks princesses should stay in their towers and embroider cushions all day! When the king’s mysterious illness befuddles all the royal doctors, however, it’s Princess Pearl to rescue! She not only heals the king, she also changes his mind about what it means to be a princess. She convinces her uncle how talented she is. She lets her talent shine! Now, you can close your eyes softly if you want and think of your very special talents. You may be extremely curious… You may have an excellent memory or a flexible thinking… You can have an excellent sense of humor… You can enjoy learning new things… just try to recognize your own talents. You do not have to be aware of your talents at the moment. Yet, you may begin to think of it… The more you become aware of it, the more it will shine…

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!