Kids Yoga Story: Superworm by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

An unlikely hero, Superworm, saves the day in all kinds of ways. He is beloved by his garden friends who then get a chance to come to Superworm’s rescue when he is kidnapped by an evil lizard. A story of friendship and helping each other with twenty two yoga poses!

Superworm is super long, super strong (Caterpillar/Ashtanganasana: Coming on all fours, shift your shoulders and heart beyond your fingertips. Lower your chest and chin to the earth, keeping your elbows in at your side and tailbone lifting toward the ceiling. Press down firmly through the palms of the hands, keeping the shoulder heads lifted as you continue to soften the place between the shoulder blades). He is a friend of every creature in the forest.

One day, baby toad has hopped on to a major road (Frog: Up on your toes, crouching down, with your knees out wide and use your hands for balance and hop!). The mother frog cries out in panic “Whatever can we do?” Luckily a superworm lasso rope saves the toad! (Tiger/Lasso Rope: Coming on all fours, extend one arm and the opposite leg out behind you, and look forward)

The bees are feeling bored today (Bumble Bee: Taking a deep breath in, we close our ears and eyes and hum a buzzy bumble bee breath out). They need a nice new game to play. Cheer up, bees! No need to mope, there is superworm, the skipping rope! (Bridge/Skipping Rope: Sitting on our bottoms, with our knees bent, feet flat and hands behind us – fingers pointing towards your bottom. Press into your feet and lift your hips up to the sky)

Beetle has fallen in the well (Triangle/Falling in the well: From a standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot facing slightly outwards, take your arms up parallel to the ground, bend at your waist, tilt your upper body, reach your front hand to gently rest on your shin, and reach your other arm straight up). Not to panic, all is fine. It is superworm, the fishing line! (Triangle Forward Bend/Fishing Line: From Mountain Pose, take your right foot back, keeping your ankle bent at a 30 degree angle. Place your hands on your hips, ensuring that your back is flat and that you are looking straight ahead. Then slowly bend forward as if your hips are a hinge, keeping a flat back and a long neck. Lastly bring your hands to your ankles, all the while checking that your spine is straight)

Then toads and beetles (Beetle/Deer: Sitting tall, legs out long, we bend one knee up. We hug that knee, then placing our hand behind us, bring our other elbow round to the outside of the knee, looking back over our shoulder), bees and ants (Ant/Knee Hugging: Lying back we draw our knees up and give them a big hug), Snails (Child Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body) clap and sing “Superworm is super long. Superworm is super strong.”

The chant is carried on the air to Wizard Lizard (Lizard: Coming high onto your knees, step one foot forward so you are on one knee. Place both your hands down inside of your front foot and step or wiggle your back leg out straight behind you. Come down onto your elbows if you fancy having a closer look at the floor). He mutters in his servant’s ear to find that worm and bring him here. The servant crow is black and very cruel (Crow: Squatting down high on our tiptoes, heels touching, we place our hands down flat. We get our knees resting on our arms above our elbows, then we tilt forwards maybe lifting one foot, and the other too). He carries the Superworm in his beak. The wizard waves his magic flower (Flower: Sit on your bottom. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Balance on your sitting bones and weave your arms under your legs. Hold your arms steady under your legs with your arms facing up) and says “Superworm, you are in my power. And you must dig to find me treasure in the soil.”

For days he tunnels and digs (Woodchopper: Standing tall, legs wide, we criss cross our fingers behind our back and fold forward letting our arms drop over the top, saying “chop”). But all the treasure that he finds is small buttons and plastic forks. The lizard gets angry and says “I will feed you to my hungry crow, if you cannot find the treasure down below (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).” The crow is flapping through the night, perching upon an oak tree (Tree: Standing tall, place the heel of your foot on top of the other. Bring your hands together at your heart and grow your branches up tall). He says “Superworm is good to eat and he is a special treat!”

In the meantime, Superworm’s friends take action to save him. The garden creatures leave their home, carrying a honeycomb (Warrior 1/Carrying: Standing up, step one foot back, slightly angling it outwards, bend your front knee, and bring your arms straight up towards the sky, and look up). They chew the petals off his flower to rob him of the lizard’s magic power while the spider weaves busily (Spider: Standing with your legs as wide as your shoulders, bend your knees to place your hands inside your feet. Walk your fingers around the back of your feet, like tickly spiders until they are on the outside of your feet, crouching down, resting your legs over your arms like a spider). The web is strong and big enough. The wizard wakes “This isn’t funny! I’m wrapped in leaves and stuck with honey!” Then the bees and beetles fly up and lift the web into the sky (Bird: Standing up, bend forward from your middle, keeping your back long and straight. Your arms become wide wings floating up and down at your sides as you fly like a bird). They throw the wizard into the rubbish dump! (Standing Forward Bend: Standing up, bend your upper body, reach for your toes)

And now, from somewhere underground, there comes a rumbling sound. The earth begins to heave and then Superworm is back (Upward Facing Dog: Lying on our tummies, place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Press through your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor. Press down firmly through the tops of your feet. Strongly engage your leg muscles to keep your thighs lifted off the floor)! All his friends clap and cheer. Their long and strong Superworm Hero is back again! (Hero: Keeping knees together, we kneel up and let our feet  and ankles come apart so our bottom fits into the gap between our feet. We keep our toes pointing backwards and criss crossing our fingers, stretch our arms forward and up to the sky like heroes.)

Relaxation:

What a beautiful friendship story! How much Superworm and his friends have fun together. They are friends not only in good times but also in bad times. They make a great plan together to save him from the wizard lizard. We should be with our friends in their hard times. They feel better when we are with our friends in their tough times. 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!

Superworm Yoga Flow