It's nice sometimes to take the traditional way of doing something and diversify it by adding to it.
Yoga is yoga and will always be but it doesn't mean you have to keep doing the same thing over and over in the same manner when teaching a kids yoga class. That's the beauty of teaching kids. You get to change things up. Take something old and make it into something new.
When we compared the typical, popular culture expressed teardrop shape of a raindrop to yoga poses, full boat pose and some forward bends came to mind, but they all didn't fully achieve that teardrop shape we were looking for.
So we used pike position. Mainly a gymnastics or diving position, pike still works itself into yoga, especially in this activity as it is comparable to boat pose in terms of delivery and movement. Rounding off the activity with the corpse pose for a more yoga based flow.
That said, this week we decided on a more challenging yoga activity. Something that would really challenge our students to stay focused in order to execute, but something that would easily add a fun element as well. The activity we are talking about is our raindrop pose. This is a fun activity to strengthen your students' core while working on their balance!
First, have them simply balance on their bottoms with their arms hooked under their knees. If this is enough of a challenge, feel free to release after this pose into Shavasana (corpse pose) to create a splash effect that of the raindrop hitting the ground. If this is easy, gently help or lead your students to grab the back of their legs between their calves and ankles with their elbows pressing into their calves. Slowly, (and without falling!) try to get them to straighten their legs, extending the toes to the sky. If this too is easy, gently pull the forehead towards the toes. After a deep breath, finally, release the legs and torso to fully flatten the body onto the ground. Encourage them to have as a controlled a landing a possible, so as to avoid injury!
How did it go?
"OH my gosh this is so hard!" exclaimed so many of our students while others simply shouted out "Look at me teacher, I'm doing it!" We also heard lots of moaning and groaning as they worked their way through the activity. But believe us when we say they worked hard at making sure they perfected this one. Pike position can be a struggle even for adults, so it was a little struggle for the kids as well. What helped was their enthusiasm to get it done! To do it well and to excel at it too! Another great and rewarding part of the activity was the release into corpse pose while shouting out splash as their bodies gently hit the ground.
Some suggestions to make this activity incident free would be to model the activity for your students so they can see how it flows while taking the time to point out the control required to move from pike to corpse pose. Some fun additions include holding the pose while you and your students count to a specified number, then yell, "splash!" or work this movement into any story about rain or raindrops!
Take a look!
If you are looking for a challenging yoga activity|pose|position then watch our video. You will be able to see how we put the activity together and the control the activity requires.
Strengthen That Core,
Tiva & Randa