Rigid by definition means unable to be bent or forced out of shape. You may wonder why we chose a word that in essence seems to be the very opposite of what yoga is meant to teach us.
Well, when you think of teaching children sometimes you have to come up with descriptive words that can really help them understand that which you are looking for in their execution of that said activity. In our case, we wanted a word that when heard and described to our students could be interpreted exactly as it is meant. We also wanted a word that in our opinion best described the sensory aspect of our inspiration; the oyster shell. When we think of an oyster shell the word rigid is definitely applicable.
Now, yoga teaches us to be free-flowing and move through poses with ease, but there are some poses that require more contraction, more stiffness of movement than others.
This contraction or stiffness can in a way be thought of as a rigid quality of movement.
Considering the fact that we are still working through the very last bit of our "Ocean" theme, with our focus this week on oysters, we wanted to put together a short yoga sequence using poses that would commit to our descriptive word of choice. We figured a nice stretching sequence would do the trick using three different poses and adding that opening and closing feature of an oyster shell.
How did it go?
This sequence made our students literally fall over! Some of them shouted in jovial agony over not being able to touch their toes! It was all good fun though! They were able to draw the comparisons of the motion of their bodies to the opening and closing motion of an oyster shell. After repeating the sequence a couple times they were able to understand and execute a rigid quality of movement, that of a rigid oyster shell. Lastly, they learned and understood that certain parts of the body needed some level of rigidity (stiffness, contraction) in order for the poses or positions to be achieved. We took the time to move through and discuss this sequence with our older students, but with our younger students, we just tried to focus on helping them grasp the concept of the movement|poses versus the concept of the word rigid in relation to the movement. Nonetheless, this sequence was simple enough for even the youngest of them all.
One suggestion we have to make this activity a little easier, especially for the younger ones would be to take it slow and talk them through the entire activity. Using simple words like let's bend our knees and touch our toes and whilst talking them through feel free to use a tone of voice that comes across as excited!
Take a look!
So if you are looking for a new ocean-themed, oyster inspired sequence, then feel free to watch our video. You will be able to see how we moved through the three poses and listen to the little spiel we used to guide our students through the activity. We are confident that this activity will up the level of difficulty in your yoga class while bringing tons of laughs your way!
Tiva & Randa