LEPRECHAUN GAME ~ More St. Patty’s Day Kids Yoga

Taken at the St Patrick's Day celebrations at ...

St Patrick’s Day celebrations at London’s Trafalgar Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is thanks to my daughter who helped me make up a new game for our St. Patty’s Day class on March 16th.  She loves the leprechaun tricks and desperately wanted to play a leprechaun game. She started the ball rolling and I took it and ran.  We ran our ideas by each other and this is what we came up with…

  1. Set the mats up in a circle and have all the kids get down into child’s pose.  They are NOT allowed to peek.  Heads must stay down.
  2. Teacher moves around the circle and taps someone on the head.  They become the LEPRECHAUN.
  3. The leprechaun grabs a pose card (I have some festive ones that I made up from last year…poses pasted on shamrocks) and hands it to one of the kids whose HEADS are ALL STILL DOWN. That person becomes the CLOVER ROVER ( ? still unsure about this name) and slides the pose card or clover under their mat.
  4. When that is done, the Leprechaun and Clover Rover get back on their mats and come down into child’s pose.  Everyone sits up and tries to guess who the Leprechaun and Clover Rover were.
  5. When we guess who the Clover Rover is, they lead the class in the pose.
  6. Of course each child will want a turn at Leprechaun AND Clover Rover.

I am thinking that I will put stickers on the kids’ backs, one for leprechaun and one for clover rover.  If the child has already been leprechaun we will remover the sticker, etc.  That way it will be easy for the kids to know who has been what and they won’t keep picking the same kids over and over. 

This is another game that has yet to be tried with the kiddos.  I will start trying it this week and make adjustments where I need to. I will keep you posted.  In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions on fun variations, ways they would change it up…I would love to hear them!

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HOME SWEET HOME ~ 7 Good Reasons to Practice Yoga at Home

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One of the most valuable tools I took with me when I finished my teacher training was my home based yoga practice.  As part of our training we were strongly encouraged to develop our own practice both on and off the mat, using the 8 limbs of yoga.  As I built my practice, it evolved from primarily physical to a practice that filled my life, not just my mat.

A yoga studio is nice for many reasons, my favorite reason is that you get to practice and socialize with other yogis.  While I crave the community that practicing in a studio facilitates, here are 7 reasons why I love my home practice…

  1. The practice is all mine.  I can flow at my own pace.  I have the space to listen to my body and inner voice, the one that tells me what poses and pranyama will serve me best today.  If I need to focus on balance, I base my practice on pranyama, mudras, mantras, & poses that will help me regain or maintain balance.
  2. There is no one to compare myself to. It’s just me! As I see it, within a yoga studio ego plays a big role in how far we will or won’t take our practice.  Yes, teachers too fall into the comparison trap.  It is good practice to take notice when ego takes over and back off a bit.  At home there are no surrounding mats or competitive yogis to focus on…just me!
  3. I can practice poses that I have not entirely mastered yet.  I practice handstand nearly every day and yet, I still need the wall. I love to practice arm balances, like side crow, and I still can’t bring my feet up off the ground for a full breath.  They are still part of my practice and may not be if I were strictly a studio girl.
  4. Meditation.  At home I can adjust my practice time to include a longer meditation.  Sometimes I need my practice to be more physical, sometimes I need an extended meditation.  I almost always need more meditation time than is offered in a studio practice.
  5. By weaving my home practice into my day, I have made yoga a lifestyle.  If I know I will not have time to make it to the mat today, I can focus on pranyama throughout my day or the food that I put into my body or on maintaining loving interactions with family and friends.
  6. The schedule is mine to make.  I practice when I can make the time…usually when the baby is napping.  It’s not always in the morning or on an empty stomach, but it’s when I can practice and that makes it OK.
  7. It’s free! I don’t have to shell out $17 each time I unroll my mat.  Let’s face it, studio yoga can be pricey.  Now and then I will pop into a local studio to take a class or workshop and commune with other yogis, but my home practice is my main practice.

Obviously, if you are brand new to yoga, having the guidance of a well-trained teacher is always advisable.  If you have been practicing for awhile and have thought about developing a home practice, go for it!  With the extra love and attention, your practice will flourish and so will your life!

 

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ST. PATRICK’S DAY kids yoga ideas

shamrock

St. Patrick’s Day folklore and traditions offer us so many opportunities for imaginative play.  Leprachauns, four leaf clovers, and pots of gold…the stuff dreams are made of.  The kids really get into this holiday and it is a fabulous chance to tie in some life lessons about luck and sharing.  There are some really good ideas floating around out there about how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in kids yoga classes.   Here are some of my ideas incorporated into a partial lesson plan with some other really good ideas that I found online…

ST  PATRICK’S DAY LESSON PLAN

  • 5 Little Leprechauns Warm-up
Five little leprechauns scurrying by my door (Mountain Pose)
One jumped away, then there were four.
Four little leprechauns climbing in my tree, (Tree pose)
One hid in the green leaves, then there were three.
Three little leprechauns, just a busy few,
One went for a pot of gold (Bow pose), then there were two.
Two little leprechauns, having lots of fun,
One hopped over the rainbow (Slide pose or reverse plank), then there was one.
One little leprechaun, with all his work done,
He slipped off for a nap (crocodile pose), then there were none.

(I found this poem online and added poses…Author Unknown)

  • These are some of the poses I plan to use:
    Mountain (door)
    Tree
    Bow (pot of gold)
    Slide (rainbow)
    Crocodile (nap)
    Dancer (Leprechaun)
  • Maybe a game of Leprechaun Says (Simon Says) with poses.  I even have the crazy St. Patty’s Day hat for the leprechaun to wear.
  • Magic scratch shamrock craft from Oriental Trading. I love scratching these things! Sometimes I want to put the craft together myself, sometimes I just want easy!
  • St. Patrick’s Day Relaxation:
Close your eyes. Breathe deep. Big breath in…let it out.  Feel your body getting heavier each time you let all of the air out of your lungs.  Keeping your eyes closed,  look around you.  You are in the most beautiful place.  It is lush and green, with rolling hills.  You notice houses…really, really small houses all around you.  Pink houses, yellow houses…so many different colors.  You wonder where you are. You look at the ground.  The green grass is not grass at all, but entirely made of four leaf clovers.  A rainbow shines bright overhead.  Little people start to come out from behind little trees and show themselves to you…Leprechauns everywhere!  They seem so happy and free.  You have heard they are a bit tricky so you wonder what they have planned for you.  They invite you to join them for the day…to be a LEPRECHAUN!  What good-natured tricks will you play?  Will you share your pot of gold?  Who will you share it with?  Who will you help?  Feel how good it feels to help someone.  The rainbow begins to fade into the distance.  Your day as a leprechaun is coming to a close. Take a big deep breath in and let it out.  Slowly moving fingers and toes, open your eyes.
 
  • If time allows, I would like to have them draw a picture of what they saw with their eyes closed during relaxation.  I ordered these cool rainbow crayons for this purpose.

rainbow crayons

  • Click HERE for a PDF of this lesson plan.
May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door,
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore!
Irish Blessing
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THE YOGA SLIDE fan favorite

Over the weekend I decided to overhaul my whole blog. I gave it a new theme and a new look, hopefully resolving some of the issues I was having with it. It took most of my “free” time to get it completed, eating up any time I had for writing new content. If only I had an IT person and didn’t have to muddle my way through!

Since I want to keep up the momentum and share a new blog post each week, I thought I would share a kids yoga fan favorite…THE YOGA SLIDE. They love it! The kids in my classes request it and ask to do it again. The song is on Haris Lender’s (Kidding Around Yoga) Namaste ‘n Play CD. She does go a bit fast in parts, but the kids don’t seem to notice. They have a ball! If it is not part of your kids yoga repertoire, it should be. It has become a part of my “bag of tricks” and I use it ALOT!

To download the song, click on the Namaste ‘n Play cover below:

namaste n play cd

This is a video Petit Papillon Yoga shared on Facebook in August (video quality is not great, but still the best I found to demonstrate the song)…

Have fun with it…we do :)

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THE ANTS GO MARCHING activity for kids yoga

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Last week, I was trying to figure out what activity to do with my littlest preschool yogis.  I almost always need 2 lesson plans…one for the 2 to 3 year olds and one for the 4 and up classes.    I only have 15 to 20 minutes with the littlest kids, so I don’t have to  have a big elaborate plan.  Usually we come in, sing our song, do some animal sound OM centering, breathwork, one activity and that’s it…Namaste.

Keeping the littlest yogis engaged can be tricky sometimes.  I knew I wanted to use a song…something catchy and repetitive that they already knew.  This was perfect!  I am pretty sure I am not the first one to do this, but didn’t find it anywhere else and wanted to share…

THE ANTS GO MARCHING

We sang  the song without the music because sometimes things end up going too fast for the little guys. We marched in a circle and clapped with the beat, coming down into the poses as described below:

The ants go marching 1 by 1, hurrah, hurrah!
The ants go marching 1 by 1, hurrah, hurrah!
The ants go marching 1 by 1, the little one stops to suck his thumb,
and they all go marching down…to the ground…to get out..of the rain. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

1×1….the little one stops to suck his thumb…CHILD’S POSE

2×2…the little one stops to tie his shoe…LOW LUNGE OR DRAGON POSE 

3×3…the little one stops to climb a tree…TREE POSE

4×4…the little one stops to shut the door…STAR POSE TO MOUNTAIN CLAPPING HANDS OVERHEAD (like a jumping jack…to make the sound of the door shutting)

5×5…the little one stops to take a dive…SWAN DIVE FROM MOUNTAIN TO RAG DOLL

6×6…the little one stops to pick up sticks…LAY ON THE FLOOR ON THE BELLY STRAIGHT AS POSSIBLE LIKE A STICK.

7×7…the little one stops to pray to heaven…MOUNTAIN POSE HANDS IN ANJALI MUDRA (you may have to make up a different verse if you are in a public school.)

8×8…the little one stops to shut the gate…GATE POSE(both sides)

9×9…the little one stops to get out of line…LINE POSE OR WARRIOR 3 (both sides)

10×10…the little one stops to do it again…WE STOPPED HERE(you could make something up if you like)

It kept them engaged for all 10 verses.  I was prepared to stop at 5 or so and start something new if I was losing them, but I didn’t need to.  It worked!  Whew!

Click HERE for PDF version of Ants Go Marching Activity.

Toddler Action Songs

 

 

 

 

 

This activity could be used in combination with the book Hey Little Ant to develop an ant themed class or a kid-friendly class focused on ahimsa or nonviolence. You could also use this as a part of a picnic themed class with ChildLight’s Picnic Game.  So many options.  This is one reason why I love to teach kids’ yoga so much…CREATIVITY!

Hey, Little Ant

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Yoga Flow for the SACRAL CHAKRA

Chakra infographic

Beautiful chakra infographic found on YogaDork. Click the link and you can print the PDF version.

A new year is the time where many of us start to reassess and reorganize our lives.  Out with the old and in with the new!  We try to rid ourselves of bad habits and develop new, healthier habits.  Many times it doesn’t take very long before we revert to our old ways, mostly because we haven’t changed the core of what helped us to develop that habit in the first place.  For example, our overeating almost never has to do with an insatiable appetite for food, but almost always with a great need to swallow whatever it is we are feeling.  To really, truly change the unhealthy behavior we need to go deeper, experience the emotions, and change that core energy.  Yoga can help us to do that. Through breath, asana practice, and meditation, we can experience where our energy is stuck and use our practice to help get it moving again.  Using our body’s energy system, we can heal our physical and emotional bodies.  Often times, the healing comes unexpectedly as our practice progresses.

With all of that in mind, I decided that for the first 7 weeks of 2013 in my adult classes I would focus on balancing one chakra each week. Hopefully then we can all begin 2013 with a bit of a chakra overhaul, putting us in a much better place to fulfill any intentions we have set for the new year. Since the  Sacral Chakra is of particular importance as far as overindulging goes, I chose that sequence to share here.

Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra).  “The Dwelling Place of the Self.”  Associated with the element of water, it is linked to the moon and the tides.  Ebbs and Flows.  The Sacral Chakra is home to our likes and dislikes and also to impulse control.  If we are unsatisfied with our lives or have addiction problems (with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever) our sacral chakra is probably out of balance.   Rotating and opening the hips and aligning the pelvis can help balance this chakra. (Here is a link to a previous post with more info regarding our body’s energy system, chakras, nadis, etc.)

SACRAL CHAKRA FLOW

  • Begin laying on the floor, eyes closed. Put your hands on your belly to feel your diaphragm as your breath moves it up and down. Allow yourself to relax and find your center.  If it helps, you can visualize water washing away your worries, fears, etc. to put you in a centered place for your practice. When you are ready, open your eyes.
  • Ardha Pavana Muktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
  • Supta Padangusthasana(Reclining Big Toe Pose)
  • Ananda Balasana(Happy Baby)
  • Grab hold behind the knees and rock and roll up to seated or just find your way to a seated position.
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
  • Onto hands and knees in table top…wrists under the shoulders, knees under the hips.
  • Marjaryasana/Bitilasana(Cat/Cow Flow)
  • Chakravakasana (Balancing Table aka Sunbird Flow) Bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee.
  • Curl the toes under and press back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Walk the feet forward into Uttanasana (Forward Bend or Rag Doll Pose)
  • Face the wide side of your mat and come into Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Fold)
  • Still in the forward fold, walk your hands first to the left leg (pausing) and then to the right coming into Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose or Intense Side Stretch) on each side.
  • Coming back to the top of the mat, follow the breath, inhaling arms overhead, exhale swan dive and fold.
  • Plant the palms on the mat and step back into Downward Facing Dog.
  • Lift the Left Leg up behind you and gently bring it forward between the hands.
  • Dropping the left heel to the mat and keeping the wide stance, rise up into *Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)
  • *Trikonasana(Triangle Pose) When following this link to the instructions for triangle pose, please keep in mind that not everyone can or should touch the floor in this pose.  Listen to your body. Keeping the shoulders in one plane is more important than touching the floor. That can come with time.
  • * Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
  • *Anjaneyasana(Low Lunge)
  • * Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)
  • From Pigeon, find your way back into Downward Facing Dog, then lift the right leg and bring it forward between the hands, practicing all of the poses with * on the right side.
  • Find your way back up to standing to practice your balancing pose.
  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  • Straddle your mat and come intoMalasana(Yogi Squat or Garland Pose)
  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
  • Parighasana (Gate Pose)
  • Come into Plank Pose and slowly lower to the floor.
  • Flow into and out of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) with the breath. Inhale and lift up, exhale and lower. 5x
  • Press back into Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Come up to seated and then slowly lower to a reclining position.
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) Flow into and out of bridge with the breath.  Inhale and lift the hips, exhale and lower them. 5x and then hold in Bridge for 5 breaths.
  • Supta Matseyandrasana (Reclining Spinal Twist)
  • Inversion of your choice.
  • Come into your relaxation pose of choice, maybe Savasana or maybe Supta Baddha Konasana for this sequence.
  • Close the eyes and focus on the breath. Allow yourself to become heavier with each exhalation.  Visualize the color orange as it appears to you in your lower abdomen. (The Sacral Chakra is about 3 inches below the navel.) Each time your mind wanders, bring it back to that orange color in your abdomen.

* This is a long sequence, so take bits and pieces of it as you need. Hold each pose for at least 5 breaths.  I did not post pictures, since that would have taken me FOREVER, but each pose has a link to a picture of the pose and a step-by-step description of how to do the pose. Click this link for a PDF version of this flow…Sacral Chakra Flow

Here we explored the asanas that, with focused intention, can help balance just one chakra.  What about the others? MindBodyGreen shared this video that artfully moves through each of the 7 chakras. This teacher covered her hands and feet in the paint color that corresponds to each chakra. I am truly fascinated by the chakra system and I Pin and Tag all that catches my eye or touches my soul.   This video did both.  Love, love, love it and wanted to share!

 

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GROUNDHOG DAY Kid’s Yoga Theme


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Our monthly pajama yoga class happens to fall on Groundhog Day this time.  6 more weeks of winter or not, we are going give a shout out to our friend Punxatawney Phil as we try out this Groundhog themed lesson plan.  Some of these things have yet to be tested, so we will see how it actually goes down in class on Feb 2nd.  Feel free to leave comments if you use any of these ideas to let me know what worked or didn’t work for you and if/how you tweaked it.

Cover of "Groundhog Gets a Say"

 

  • Groundhog Gets a Say ~ This would be a good book to use as a tie-in.  It presents groundhog facts in a cute story.

 

  • Whistle Pig Breath (Groundhogs are also called Whistle Pigs) ~ Have the kids take a deep breath in and practice their whistle as they exhale…or blow on a whistle or bottle if they can’t whistle yet.

 

  • Groundhog Sun Salute ~ Begin as the Groundhog underground in Child’s Pose, slide forward onto the belly through the tunnel into Cobra, then come up onto the knees to peek the head out of the hole, raise arms way over head to stretch out of the hole and then (still up on knees) Twist to one side and then the other looking for your shadow, then slide back down into Child’s pose as you climb back into your hole.

 

  • I plan to use poses that signify directions that a groundhog might go: Gate Pose, Twist, & Triangle Pose pointing this direction and that, past a Tree, down a hill (Slide), over a Bridge, past his friend the worm (Cobra), sometimes maybe needing his Candle to light the way.

 

  • Hog Tunnel ~ Downward Dog Tunnel where person crawling through is the groundhog.

 

  • Me and My Shadow ~ Mirroring with a partner

 

  • Groundhog Parachute Game ~ This is definitely a work in progress since I made it up…we’ll see how it goes, but here’s the idea. I will mark a stopping point on the floor.  We will all grab the parachute and walk it in a circle, when I say stop, the child that is at that stopping point (wheel of fortune style) will be the groundhog.  The groundhog goes under the parachute and chooses the pose they want everyone else to come into.  I will leave pose cards under the parachute so they can look at them.  They will give everyone 3 clues about which pose they chose, without saying the pose name (Pose Detective or Headbanz style). Those kids on the outside of the parachute will say a little rhyme…something like, “Groundhog, groundhog please come out. We’ll show you what we’re all about.”  The groundhog will come out and see if everyone guessed it right.  We will continue until everyone has had a chance to be the groundhog.

 

  • Hibernation Relaxation ~ I plan to have the kids come down onto their mats in slow motion to prepare for relaxation/hibernation ~ Start to slow down your breathing, big deep breath in, big deep breath out.  Close your eyes and snuggle in.  Pull your blanket way up to your chin.  Feel your body become more and more relaxed. You are nice and cozy in your little cave.  There is a fire roaring inside the room, warming your feet, your hands, your face.  Your breath slows and you relax even more.  You are settled in for the winter.  You begin to have the most amazing dream.  Your biggest wish in the whole wide world is coming true.  You are so happy.  See it happening.  What does it feel like? What are you doing?  Slowly you start to come out of the dream.  Your body starts to move and your breath deepens.  Ahhh! It must be spring…time to wake up.

 

I really had fun with this one. However, it is always interesting to see how your plan translates into the class with the kiddos. We’ll see…

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SNOW DANCE

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I have not posted in a LONG while. I have been teaching more and more and finding I have less and less time for writing.  I have just had to let myself be OK with that. It’s part of yoga and part of life. I’m hoping that the new year brings more hours in the day or at the very least, a little more time for keeping up with the blog.

Last year we saw no significant snow fall in our neck of the woods and my daughter has been longing for a snow day or two or three.  To give the kiddos some hope for a white Christmas we performed a SNOW DANCE as part of our holiday kids yoga class last month. This would really work as part of any winter themed kids yoga class, it just so happened to work for our holiday class.

So simple, but we had SO MUCH FUN~

~ I played a Native American drum beat (on my Ipod) and we danced around the circle.  I watched a few rain dances on YouTube and tried to loosely replicate that Native American technique.

~ We chanted hi-ya, hey-ya…as we danced the circle.

~ Then I would sing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” and call out a pose.  We would freeze into that pose.  We used the Warrior poses 1, 2, & 3, because we were spirit warriors, of course.  We also scrunched up in a little ball and became a snowball and ended our dance on the floor doing snow angels.

On Christmas Eve, when the first snowflakes began to fall, my heart smiled…our snow dance worked! The snow didn’t last long, but it covered the ground, turned everything white, and made lots of little kids (and big ones too) very happy!

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5 Reasons to Believe That There is Magic in the World

Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice...

 

MAGIC. If you do not believe in magic, your life will not be magical. Magic, like the power of Stonehenge, is part of the unknowable – that which you cannot describe, but which exists and makes your life extraordinary. It is part of the goodness of your spirit. It is that mysterious and intriguing part of your spiritual life. Magic is what we are all looking for, but if you try to name it and describe it, you will lose it…Out of the mists of the dawn and the mysteries of creation comes the magic that we call life. Out of your passion for existence comes magic. 

~ Lynn V. Andrews ~ The Power Deck

 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?

The Power Deck is one of my favorite meditation tools. I have used it time and time again to deepen my meditation practice and to delve into my inner world. When I pulled this card, I knew I needed to explore it a bit further. Do I really believe in magic? I am an open minded person, but do I really, truly believe there is magic in the world.

This is a tough one.  As children we believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy because we are innocent and our parents want us to believe that anything is possible.  Yet, when we become a certain age…that’s it…no more magic!  Once we realize that the physical being who brings us presents doesn’t exist, we become disillusioned like the rest of the world.  Now, magic doesn’t exist.  This is what we are taught from that day forward.

I have my own personal issues with the belief in magic that stem from at least 2 things that come to mind, a tumultuous childhood and a strict religious upbringing.  I remember laying in bed and praying for things to get better.  They never got better. If prayer didn’t seem to be working and I was told that prayers were always answered, how could there be magic in the world? How could I believe that anything and everything is possible?  I couldn’t.  Life was all too raw and all too real.   Addictions and negative belief systems passed from one generation to the next kept the weight of the world on my little shoulders.  Here I am years later trying to unwind a lifetime of self-limiting beliefs.

With all of my heart, I want to believe that anything is possible and I definitely want my children to believe that. Every day, step by step, I get a little bit closer. I work on it in meditation and I work on it consciously in my life.  If I can fully believe that I create my own destiny and that I am not a little pawn getting knocked around in the game of life, I am a little bit closer to believing in magic.

These are the visuals that I hold in my mind and heart that help me to believe that magic does exist…it must!

 

English: view into Grand Canyon from South Rim...

 

1. THE GRAND CANYON. Have you ever seen it in person?  It is truly breathtaking!! I will never forget seeing it for the first time.  I had recently graduated from college and was on a cross-country trip with 2 friends. I stepped out to take a look for the first time and tears came into my eyes immediately.  That was the first time I felt the vastness of life and the potential for beauty. It was the closest I had ever come to feeling my connection with all things.  It was awe inspiring, emotion evoking, and magical!

2. MY KIDS.  Daily I look at them and think about how truly lucky I am.  They chose me to be their mom!  Parenting can be hard…no one is denying that. If you let them, kids can help you see the magical moments in life.  They can see the magic even when you can’t.  They can bring it to you, usually through imagination, play, and laughter.

 English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly.

3. BUTTERFLIES. Metamorphosis is an intriguing and magical process.  Because of my daughter’s fascination, we recently watched the whole cycle…from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.  It is truly amazing!  If you have never observed it, I highly suggest you get yourself some caterpillars and watch.  It is actual earth magic! No wonder the butterfly is a symbol for transformation.

4. FLOWERS and other PLANTS. The beauty begins with a tiny seed! With enough love and attention the seed will become a full grown plant, providing us with healthy food to eat or flowers for our garden. I see the magic in that!  It also gives us a beautiful metaphor for our own projects/ideas/manifestations.  Ideas are the seeds.  If given enough care and attention, they can grow and flower and manifest in the physical world. Wishes coming true!

5. RAINBOWS. They always seem to show up when you need to see them, when you’ve had a rough day or just need a reminder of how beautiful life really is.  It doesn’t always feel beautiful, that’s for sure.  Nothing like a rainbow to put things in perspective.  Many times it has been raining all day and when it finally clears…this amazing, magical rainbow of light appears in the sky! That’s magic, my friends, that’s magic.

rainbow on butterhill

 

Maroon 5 lyrics are now running through my head, “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies…”  These are 5 of the symbols that help me reaffirm to myself that anything is possible and that magic does exist.  What are yours?

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Girl Power Kids Yoga

I had partially prepared for a little girl’s birthday party that I was supposed to be doing this Saturday when plans changed and the party had to be cancelled.  I had a few ideas that I didn’t want to get lost, so I thought I would share them on the blog.

To me, girl power is about steering our little girls towards strength, self-esteem, self reliance, love…all of that and more! We need to let them know that they don’t have to fall into antiquated gender roles and that any path they choose to take is OK.  They can be “girly”, they can like sports, they can want to be a veterinarian, and/or they can want to be a Mommy.  It is such a big responsibility!  Through yoga we can teach these lessons in a fun and empowering way.

This is not a full lesson plan. But here are some of my ideas.  I welcome comments/ideas from others as well…maybe together we can pull together one FABULOUS girl power birthday party!

To start with, I wanted to find a book that has a great message for little girls and that would be really fun to act out with yoga poses.  I did a google search and found this really great list of empowering books for girls.  So many to choose from, but I chose The Paper Bag Princess, an old favorite of my daughter’s and mine

        

        

The Princess Elizabeth is supposed to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and carries off the prince.  Princess Elizabeth outsmarts the dragon and SAVES the PRINCE!! The ungrateful, superficial prince scoffs at her attire when she shows up to rescue him…so she changes her mind and doesn’t marry him after all.

 

POSES

Elizabeth ~ Goddess or Warrior 1

Ronald ~ Warrior 2

Dragon ~ Dragon pose (lunge with knee down)

Dragon Breath while in Dragon Pose ~ found this video on YouTube that demonstrates Dragon Breath

 

Forest of burnt trees ~ group tree pose

Cave (Dragon’s Lair) ~ Could do tunnel of down dogs or wide leg forward folds or use a parachute for the cave

Flying Dragon Pose ~ Bird/Airplane pose

Crocodile pose ~ on the belly when the dragon collapses in exhaustion

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

~ YogaKids’ Reach for the Sun Breath paired with empowering affirmations like “I am strong” or “I am powerful.”

~ Goddess Tag ~ a version of ChildLight’s Triangle Tag, but you would freeze into Goddess pose instead of Triangle

~ I was also thinking of making our own paper bag princesses (an idea I got from this blog post )

~ I was working on a parachute game where each girl takes turns under the parachute with a cape on…a sort of yoga SuperGirl…but I haven’t worked it all out yet.  I’ll keep you posted!

 

I can’t wait to actually use this lesson plan and expand on it!  Maybe soon?!  Comments, additions, suggestions are welcome!

 

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