In Yoga, many Asanas are inspired by Nature, in particular Animals. which is why so many yoga poses are named after animals. Every animal has its unique qualities and ways of expressing themselves and when we practice these Asanas, we also embody these qualities. Therefore, yoga is not just a union of our mind, body, and breath but also a way to connect to the world around us.
In an animal riddle-themed class, we introduce kids to yoga in a fun and interactive way that also sparks creativity and enhances critical thinking. Using these animal riddles will also help them learn so many fun facts about the animal kingdom!
We love starting our Yoga practice by taking three deep breaths to center the mind and body and turn our little one’s attention from outward to inward. You can sit back-to-back with your partner and do this together. Taking deep breaths can help kids slow down and prepare for their practice. If our breath is slow, deep, and long we feel calm relaxed, and happy and if it’s shallow fast we feel rushed and sometimes restless. Through regular practice, kids become more aware of their breath during the day.
Downward Dog Pose: Start on hands and knees. Lift your hips up towards the sky by straightening your legs, and let your head hang down. Wag your tail if you would like by lifting one leg and swaying it side to side. Come out of position by lowering your knees back down to the floor.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is derived from the Sanskrit word Adho – downward, Mukha – face, śv‚ na – dog. Downward dog is a half inversion which helps to elongate the spine.
Fun Facts: Their sense of smell is at least 40 times better than ours.
Eagle Pose: From Mountain Pose, cross the right thigh over the left then bend the knees and hips. As you inhale lock the left elbow over the right. Hold here for 10 seconds.
Garudasana is derived from the Sanskrit word Garuda, meaning Eagle. This Yoga Pose improves balance and strengthens your calf muscles.
Fun Facts: Eagles are a Symbol of Freedom and Peace.
Cat Pose: Get on your hands and knees. Arch your back and look at your belly button. Return to resting position and repeat.
Marjariasana is derived from the Sanskrit word Arjari, meaning cat. This pose loosens the spine and stretches the back torso and neck.
Fun Facts: Cats usually sleep around an average of 15 hours per day. This means that a cat spends roughly 70% of their lives sleeping.
Cobra Pose: Lay on your tummy and place your hands under your shoulders. Push your chest off the ground.
Bhujangasana comes from the word Bhujanga meaning cobra. Cobra pose is a good exercise to tone your abdomen, extend your spine, and improve blood circulation.
Fun Facts: Some snakes can go for over one year without eating.
Camel Pose: Kneel on a yoga mat with the sole of your feet facing the ceiling. Place hands on hips and arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight. Hold here for 10 counts.
Ustrasana comes from the Sanskrit word Ustra means camel. Camel Pose can help build a sense of confidence, improves posture, and counteract the effects of prolonged sitting, such as slouching, and may help to relieve back pain.
Fun Facts: Camels can survive for 6-7 months without water.
To conclude the practice in line with our Animal theme, kids can do the Bee Breath also known as Bhramari breath. In order to do this, we can take a few deep breaths to calm our mind and body to bring our attention to the present moment. Breathe in and out through your nose with your mouth closed. As you exhale, keep your mouth closed and make a long “mmm” sound, pretending to buzz like a bee. Humming is a relaxing activity because the vibrations feel soothing and calming to most people.