Imaginative play and yoga
Teaching a kids yoga class can sometimes mean turning technical yoga poses|sequences into imaginative, story-based activities, and that isn't a bad thing.
Imaginative play in a yoga class can really encourage children to have fun with the yoga poses|sequences while indirectly learning more about yoga, thus strengthening their yoga practice. It can also be a helpful way of keeping children engaged throughout the yoga class; as we all know how difficult of a feat that could be! There are countless studies and articles which talk about the benefits of imaginative play for young children. There are also numerous studies and reports which talk about the benefits of yoga for young children. Combine these two things, and you have double the benefits and a yoga class, packed with limitless options for changes.
Apart from the obvious, don't you think it just sounds like more fun! Dreaming up scenarios and environments, traveling to faraway lands using pretend modes of transportation, time, and imaginatively altering your reality.
Plus, this imaginative play yoga combo allows you to simplify the technical aspect of your yoga class (poses), as children; depending on the age of your students, may or may not be able to do all or most of the yoga poses. This, in turn, allows you to spread out your yoga curriculum throughout the year and to work on a select few poses at one time!
For this activity, we paired a basic sun salutation sequence with the five sea creatures from our Arts and Crafts project . We started with easy-pose and moved through mountain pose, upward salute, forward bend, high lunge, downward-facing dog, cobra pose, high lunge, and ended in chair pose.
How did it go?
Sun salutation is actually simple enough for young children to understand and model, and we have had great success with this sequence in our classes; on its own. With this success on our side, we then integrated our imaginative play scenario and brought along the five creatures from our arts and crafts project to really seal the deal, and our students enjoyed the challenge.
Simplify this activity by taking it slow. Go through each pose, taking the time to hold the pose so that your students can really understand the movement of the posture and their body.
Take a look!
If you are trying to find a fun way to reinvent a sun salutation sequence in your next ocean themed yoga class, feel free to watch our video. You will see the yoga flow at two varying speeds and the integration of the five sea creatures while listening to the audio guide we use to direct our students through this activity. We are confident that this little switch to your sun salutation sequence will encourage your students to take part and stay engaged.
Tiva & Randa