Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Yoga With Your Favorite Animals
Beautiful Photographs of Animals and Yoga Poses to Share andLlearn
Bring Yoga Into Your Classroom for Teaching Relaxation Techniques to Your Students
Many teachers are now using yoga in their classrooms to teach relaxation techniques and break up the school routine. Children have a difficult time with sitting all day and yoga is an excellent form of exercise that is easy for children to learn.
Paige Towler and Tara Stiles have collaborated with National Geographic Kids Books to produce this creative book to introduce children to yoga. YOGA ANIMALS: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly-Poses is the perfect book with fun rhyming text and National Geographic's signature awesomely done photographs of the animals to bring yoga into the classroom.
*Read YOGA ANIMALS: A Wild Introduction to Kid-Friendly-Poses as a picture book in a story time session. Call attention to the introduction of yoga as a form of exercise. Stretching, bending, and curling are all typical yoga poses.
*Take one page at a time and encourage children to perform the yoga pose.
*Take a class poll of each child's favorite animal and practice the yoga pose of that animal.
*Group the animals that are included in the book into domestic animals and wild animals. Practice the yoga poses with the domestic animals as one activity. Practice the yoga poses with the wild animals as the second activity.
*Use the educational information about the animals at the end of the book to begin some studies of each animal. Provide activities for children to do research about the animals that they like. Study the environment that each animal lives in. What are the types of food that each animal eats?
*Take a class poll from the children to learn which poses they prefer and which are hard or easy to do.
*Provide relaxing music to practice the yoga poses during exercise time.
*Divide the exercise time for yoga into morning and afternoon session. Yoga with the domestic animals might be performed in the morning. Yoga with the wild ones might be done in the afternoon.
*Call attention to the importance of breathing skills during the yoga poses. Stretching with the puppy offers instruction for breathing. Roaring like a lion also offers suggestions for breathing techniques.
*If the children are older, you might introduce the history of yoga and provide research actvities for children to learn more about yoga.
*Have parents visit the classroom to learn yoga techniques with their child. A night workshop might be possible at your school to invite parents to come with their child and learn yoga together. Provide healthy snacks after the workshop.
*Encourage children to develop their own creative yoga moves. How do the stretches and movements learned from each animal make them feel after doing the exercise?
*Mix the routine with outside yoga. Breathing fresh air is a great idea for children to learn to appreciate while doing yoga.
*Children might like to bring their own yoga mat.
*Provide healthy snacks after each of your yoga sessions.
*Provide an art activity for children to choose their favorite animal and draw their animal with the yoga pose as illustrated in the book.
*Provide a creative writing experience for older children to write about their experience with learning the yoga poses. Encourage younger children to verbalize their experiences and provide the opportunity for them to dictate their thoughts for the teacher to write as a class writing project.
*Bring in a professional yoga teacher after the children have ben exposed to the practice of yoga. The profession teacher can add extra experience for the children to add to their knowledge of yoga poses.
*Create a class chart of the body parts that yoga benefits.
Get moving in the classroom and enjoy the animals with their yoga poses! Add the book to your classroom library for children to practice the yoga poses during their free time.
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt