It’s springtime, and the world seems fresh and new. The Sun is shining. Flowers are blooming, and baby animals are being born. It’s finally warm enough to play outside without a coat! Let’s enjoy this change of season!
Spring Yoga Warm Up for Kids:
Let’s plant a seed and watch it grow into a tree:
Seed – Child’s 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.)
Rain – Massage (Sitting on your heels, use your fingertips to pitter patter all over your face and pat your body.)
Sprout Seed – 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.)
Grow Branches – 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.)
You may prefer to warm up with a related theme song such as “Fly Like a Butterfly”.
Spring Yoga Poses for Kids:
Are you feeling the Sun on your face? (Hello Sun: Stand with the feet hip distance apart. Lift your arms upwards and continue the movement doing a back bend.)
Let’s watch bumblebees at work in the garden. (Bee Breath: Sitting comfortably, close your eyes and ears with your fingers. Taking a deep breath in and out through your nose, make a humming sound of the bee which is smooth and pleasant. Keep the eyes closed and remain in silence paying attention to the sound echoing deep within.)
Do you notice the trees budding? (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.) Do you see the cherry blossoms? Let’s seek out the first spring flowers. (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.) A variety of wildflowers bloom in Spring.
Who wants to climb a tree? (Climbing: Standing tall, raise one leg slowly up and lift the opposite arm as if you are climbing up.)
I would like to plant a spring garden. Can you help me, please? (Malasana/Planting: 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.)
Let’s listen to the birds singing. (Tweety Bird: Sitting back on your heels, cross your arms over and grab your shoulders. Try making your elbows like a beak by giving yourself a big hug.)
We can have a picnic at the park. Let’s prepare some sandwiches. (Sandwich: Seated on the mat with both legs stretched out in front, fold forward. Bring the chin as close as possible to your knees. You may hold your toes with your fingers and gently pull yourself forward.)
And we can ride a bike there. (Bicycle: Lying on your back, pretend you are on a bike. Raising your leg above the floor, bend your knee and bring it close to the chest. Begin a slow cycling movement of the legs. You can place your hands under your tailbone or behind your head.) Or we can fly a kite. (Kite 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.)
Ducks begin emerging into the lakes and ponds. (Duck: Crouching down, balance on your tiptoes. Place your hands below your armpits. For a challenge, you can flap your wings!) Do you want to feed the ducks at the pond?
Let’s find a playground and swing on the swings. (Chair: Stand with your feet together or hip-distance apart. Raising your arms above your head, bend your knees. Bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as they can get.)
I enjoy the spring weather. We will get caught in a spring shower. Let’s seek out a rainbow after the rain. (Rainbow: Coming onto your knees, extend one leg to the side. Placing your opposite hand down on the floor to the other side, lift your other arm up and over your ear making a beautiful rainbow.)
Animals become active in spring—arising from winter sleep, migrating, breeding—because, with the warmth, plants grow, and food becomes more abundant.
When it is spring, many animals and birds have their babies. (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.) They need to have their young when there is lots of food available and when the days are longer.
Let’s visit a farm to see the baby animals. The warmer days and regular rainfall during spring means plants such as grass grow well. That means the cow is well fed and can produce lots of milk for her calf. (Cow: Come to hands and knees. Raise the neck upwards, bringing the belly towards the floor while curving the lower back inwards. Extend the hip outwards and slightly upwards.)
As the days are longer in spring, birds know it is time to find a mate. (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 do this by singing to each other. When they have paired up, either one or both birds will make a nest from things like dried grass, twigs, feathers or animal hair that they find. (Nest: Lying on your stomach with your legs hip width apart, bend your knees, feet up and towards your bottom. Sweep your arms around and grasp the outside of the ankles or feet. Lifting your head, try to raise the knees and chest higher.) With the nest building complete and the knowledge that there is lots of food for any babies, the egg laying can begin. The female bird begins to lay an egg each day in the new nest. (Egg: 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.)
With the warmer days of spring, animals which have been in hibernation over the long winter begin to wake up. Hibernating animals include bears, hedgehogs and various ground squirrels (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. / Hedgehog: Coming to our knees we lean forward, putting our forehead on the ground. We place our hands and fingers on our back like hedgehog quills. / Squirrel: 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 squirrel paws.)
Spring is the season when nature stretches unused muscles…
So, let’s now squeeze and stretch every part of our body first. Then let’s free it and relax as if we are waking up from hibernation…
Can you give all your attention to your feet now? Squeeze your feet while breathing in and let them relax as you breathe out…
Can you give all your attention to your legs now? Squeeze your legs while breathing in and let them relax as you breathe out…
Please give all your attention to your hands and arms now. Squeeze your hands and arms while breathing in and let them relax as you breathe out…
Can you please give your attention to your face now? Your forehead, eyebrows, eyelids, nose, cheeks, lips, chin… now wrinkle all your face as much as possible like you have tasted a sour lemon. And now let your face relax as you breathe out…
Please give your attention to your whole body. Squeeze and stretch your whole muscles as you breathe in and relax as you breathe out…
When you are ready move your fingers and toes, hug your knees into your chest. Roll over onto your side. We press ourselves up to sit, crossing our legs. We bring our hands together at our heart. Thank you for doing yoga with me today. Namaste!