Kids Yoga Story: Never Tickle a Tiger by Pamela Butchart

Izzy is always shuffling, jiggling, squirming and twitching. She just can’t keep still! So when Izzy’s school go on a trip to the zoo, her teacher warns her to behave. It is a lovely adventure of Izzy in a zoo. It contains fifteen yoga poses and takes 20 – 25 minutes with the relaxation. You can begin this story with an active song to warm up. With the song “Wheels on the Bus”, the students go to the zoo for an adventure of Izzy! Have Fun!

Izzy was a very lively, active, and a little bit naughty girl. She just couldn’t help it. No matter how hard she tried, Izzy just couldn’t keep still. One day, her class went on a trip to the zoo with the school bus (Bus: sitting with our legs out forward and holding the steering wheel we bump and bend our legs as we steer side to side stretching each way as we go, up hills leaning back, down hills folding forward). Izzy was wriggling, jiggling as soon as they walked through the zoo gates.

In the zoo, Izzy was trying to stroke the snakes (Snake: We come onto our tummy. Placing our hands underneath our shoulders. We wiggle up into a snake). She was trying to excite the elephants (Elephant: Standing with your legs out wide, stick one arm out in front of your nose to be your trunk. Lift your trunk all the way up to the sky; then swing it down between your legs as you make a huge elephant trumpet sound). She was bothering the bears (Bear Walk: Pressing into our hands and feet we lift our bottom to the sky. We come right up onto our tiptoes and take a walk). She was messing with the monkeys (Monkey: Open your legs wide and bend forward, looking through your legs). She was tapping the tortoises with a stick in her hand (Turtle: Sitting up with your legs out wide, bend your knees a little and slip your hands underneath your legs, flattening your body down towards the floor). And she was poking the peacock by plucking out its feathers (Peacock: Lie on your back. Lift your legs and feet up to the sky. Bring your legs together and open them wide like the feathers of a peacock).

At lunchtime, Izzy was shuffling her sandwich (Sandwich: Sitting up tall, legs outstretched in front of you and touch your toes). She only ate half of it while all the children finished their lunch (Half Sandwich: Sitting up tall, legs outstretched in front of you, bring one foot inside your other leg and touch your long leg’s toes). Then she bounced across the bench, wriggled under a bush, skipped past the aviary where there were lovely parrots (Parrot: Standing up, one foot forward, one foot back, cross your fingers behind your back and bend forward as mush as you can). She finally went to the tiger enclosure with a feather in her hand (Tiger: Coming on all fours, claw out with one arm forwards and the opposite back paw/leg at the same time). And she tickled the tiger. “Raaaah!” roared the tiger. With the noise of the tiger, the lion roared as well (Lion Breath: Kneeling up, hands wide, stick out your tongue and roar). The birds started flying in panic (Bird: Standing up, bend forward from your middle, keeping your back long and straight. Your arms become your wings floating up and down at your sides as you fly). The children giggled and the zookeper came running (Roadrunner: Standing up, fold forwards and place your hands down either side of your feet. Step one of your legs back and bend your front knee down into a lunge. Lift your chest).

All these things happened just because of Izzy. “You were right all along. I will never ever tickle a tiger again” she said to her teacher. But then she thought “What can be the harm of poking a polar bear?” (Polar Bear: Kneeling up, we take our knees wide. We fold forward so our tummy fits in the space between our knees and using our hands we cup over our nose, hiding our polar bear black noses in the white of the snow).

Relaxation:

What a lot of animals we have seen today. What an exciting time! Now I wonder if I say the name of an animal, can you make a picture of it appear in your mind? Let’s have a go! A monkey… can you see a monkey in your mind? A snake… can you see a snake in your mind? An elephant… can you see an elephant in your mind? A lion… can you see a lion in your mind? … Well done everyone! Now it is time to wake up. 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!