Kids Yoga Story: The Mixed-up Chameleon by Eric Carle

It is a lovely story of a chameleon whose life is not very exciting at all. Until one day, he goes to the zoo and sees all the other animals. Enjoy the story with nineteen yoga poses!

On a shiny green leaf sat a small green chameleon (Leaf/Child: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body / Lizard/Chameleon: 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). It climbed onto a brown tree and turned brownish (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 / Climbing: Standing tall, using opposite arm to leg we climb up). Then it rested on a red flower and turned reddish (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).

When the chameleon was warm and had something to eat, it turned sparkling green. But when it was cold and hungry, it turned grey and dull (Rub tummy/Pat head: Sitting with our legs crossed, we roll a hand round and round on our tummies, then we pat our heads at the same time).

When the chameleon was hungry, it sat still and waited (Easy Pose: We sit with our legs easily crossed, our hands resting on our knees with palms up or down, and close our eyes to enjoy this easy moment). Only its eyes moved up, down, sideways until it spotted a fly (Eye Exercise). That was its life.

But one day, the chameleon saw a zoo. It had never seen so many beautiful animals. The chameleon thought: How small I am, how slow, how weak! I wish I could be big and white like 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). The chameleon’s wish came true. But it was not happy.

I wish I could be handsome like a flamingo (Flamingo: Standing up, lift one leg up towards your bottom and take hold of your ankle. Lift your other arm up to the sky and try not to wobble!).

I wish I could be smart like a fox (Dog: We press our feet and hands into the floor as we lift our bottoms to the sky).

I wish I could swim like a fish (Fish: Lying on your back, prop yourself up on your elbows and point your toes down. Then pop your chest up to the sky and look all the way back behind you).

I wish I could run like a deer (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).

I wish I could see things far away like a giraffe (Giraffe: Standing tall, we reach our hands up tall, making a long giraffe neck and start walking with your long giraffe legs).

I wish I could hide in a shell like a turtle (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).

I wish I could be strong like an elephant (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).

I wish I could be funny like a seal (Upward 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).

I wish I could be like people (Mountain: Standing tall and perfectly still, breathing steady).

Just then a fly flew by (Flying: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong out behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings). The chameleon was very hungry but very mixed-up. And it could not catch the fly. I wish I could be myself. The chameleon’s wish came true. And it caught the fly!

Relaxation:

The chameleon’s life was not exciting at all. When it saw different animals in the zoo, it immediately wished to be like them. But a funny image of the chameleon appeared at the very end. As soon as it missed the fly, it realized the value of itself, how important it is to be yourself. We are all unique and valuable in our own ways. We better appreciate our bodies and take care of them! 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!