A yoga class is one of those enrichment classes that usually is difficult to adapt.
Yoga is typically repetitive as you move through the same poses, in the same flow again and again with the idea of getting stronger and ultimately perfecting the poses and your general practice. Therefore, for children's yoga teachers, it is tricky to find different ways to make yoga classes a bit more engaging through diversity and change. We always consider this either when we are creating curriculum or teaching a class.
Repetition is how children learn, but it can also make classes too monotonous and after a while a bit boring for both the teacher and students. To avoid this, one way we try to make our yoga classes different is by throwing a yoga game into the mix.
Our yoga games aren't necessarily complicated or competitive. Instead, they are specific and playful. In this instance, the yoga game we created focuses on jumping. Which brings us to the reasoning behind our choice.
We are currently exploring our Carnival theme with sub-topics ranging from flags to the steelpan and now jumping. Jumping is one of the main ways of dance|movement, and expression during carnival parties; particularly during mas. Our earlier dance activity was a super fun jumping activity and arts & crafts project for this sub-topic focused on some of the carnival participants who execute this type of movement - masqueraders. As a means of sticking with the general jumping sub-theme we had going on, we figured this yoga activity should focus on the same.
The following yoga activity is an active concentration jumping game. The focus of this activity is strengthening both your students' yoga practice and their concentration skills, as they move through an adapted sun salutation. Students will begin standing at the top of their yoga mat and jump into and out of several poses, ending where they began. Additionally, if you'd like really to play up the "game" element, maybe raise the stakes by pulling out (one by one), those students who fail to effectively and accurately complete the entire activity until you have a winner!
How did it go?
It was hard work, that's for sure! With lots of moaning and groaning our students worked their way through the activity not forgetting to remind us how painful and challenging it was! Hey, sometimes it's good to give them a challenge! Once they got the hang of the flow, we all played around with the speed and wound up going so fast that in the end, we all fell over and laughed so hard! The concentration aspect of the activity was easily achieved because of the nature of it. It was necessary for us to focus to move through it from start to finish. But once we started going faster and falling over, it was more as a result of lack of balance versus concentration.
Altogether though, we achieved the focus of the activity and our students were all able to jump through an adapted sun salutation displaying absolute focus, strength, and coordination! As for the game aspect, well, it was fun! The higher the stakes the more focused our students. We played around with different ways of making it into more of a game. We used accuracy, speed, and teamwork as different focal points for gameplay.
One suggestion to help guide your students through the activity is to verbally instruct them using simple terms. Also, a quick demonstration is always recommended.
Take a look!
If you want to switch up the monotony of your yoga class with a yoga game while challenging your students, then this activity is the one for you. When you watch the video you will see it at three speeds and will definitely have a good grasp of it by the end.
Concentrate On Your Jumps,
Tiva & Randa