Yoga With Rob Chambers

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Children's Yoga Three

Teaching Yoga to Children by Femmy Brug

A Yoga class for children should have
it all! Dynamic postures, movement and lots of variety, but also
composure, focus and attention. Children should not hold the postures.
Movement suits their nature and their growing bodies. This doesn't mean
that there cannot be stillness in a children's class. Relaxation at the
end can be a quiet time and it is also important for children to
practise some simple breathing techniques. Conveying the message of
Yoga through a story is something I am interested in. I have found that
children love to illustrate stories with the Yoga asanas. Often I use
myths or legends, and sometimes I ask the group to make up their own
story. The warrior story I wrote for children aged 8-12.


The children are asked to lie down in relaxation pose, eyes closed, 
as they listen to the teacher introducing the story.

'Once upon a time' there was a young
warrior who wonted to learn as much as there is to learn. He had
studied a lot of books, and so he had gained a lot of knowledge. He had
done a lot of physical training, a lot of running, swimming, he
excelled at all sports and so he was very strong and tough. But he knew
that there was something missing, something that books and sports
cannot teach you. The warrior decided to spend time on his own near a
beautiful river in the mountains.

So imagine you are that warrior,
strong, determined and unafraid. Lay down with your knees bent The
warrior is camping at the riverbank. You have brought a tent with you,
but you have slept outside it, as the weather is so beautiful. You are
lying on the soft grass and the day is just beginning. It is dawn. 
(Let the children imagine the surroundings! the softness of the grass, the
freshness of the air, the sounds of birds and the river, bring the
whole experience to life with their imagination).

You are now just waking up. Put your
hands gently on your tummy, Feel how your breath is waking you up, feel
how the breath starts under your hands and then fills you and gives you
energy. Now give yourself a really good stretch, as you ore ready for
action. Then stand up.

All around are mountains so the warrior
decides to stand as tall as a mountain and then stretch up towards the
heavens. (Heavenly stretch pose).

The warrior next turns to face the sun
and performs 2 rounds of the Salute to the Sun before lying down again
on the soft grass again to relax the breathing.

Roll over and notice a grasshopper, how easily it moves. Adopt Locust
pose. (Repeat 3 times).

There are lots of frogs around the riverbank. The warrior observes
their jumps, realising how strong and agile they will make his legs if
he performs them. (Frog jumps around the room, anywhere you like). Then
come back to your mat. Stand in warrior pose, bringing to mind again
those qualities: strong, determined, unafraid. After this once again
stand in mountain pose, still and tall watch the breath.

The warrior now decides to take his
boat to row a little further up the river. (Boat pose) until he finds a
place to stay beneath some tall, shady trees. When he is under the
trees he decides to be like the fishes he saw in the water (Fish pose).

Rolling over on to his side, he sees a snake slithering away. Again he
admires how the snake moves its body and he rolls over on to his front
and imitates the snake (cobra posture). He also repeats the locust pose.

Folding forwards as a tortoise, he
remembers its strength and admires it for being so self-contained
before moving into the half spinal twist posture.

The warrior now makes his way back in
his boat, back to where his tent is pitched (Boat posture, repeated 3
times while tightening and releasing the muscles). Now he stands tall
next to his tent, with the fantastic scenery around him. The trees are
tall, and strong, like he aims to be, yet they are not rigid (tree
pose).

It is now almost dusk The day is coming
to an end, and so is our Yoga class. The warrior has learned from the
animals and the beautiful day.

He feels very peaceful and adopts
animal relaxation pose. He then comes to sit up straight and
comfortable, recalling the lovely sounds the bees made earlier on, with
their humming. The class will then practise Humming bee breath,
(Bhramari) without plugging the ears, so one hears this lovely hum go
round. Invite the children to lay down for relaxation, imagining the
soft gross, the earth, the gentle breeze, the pleasant air which makes
you want to breathe deeply the calming sound of the water.

The warrior will recall the qualities of the animals and absorb all these qualities
inside himself to mix with his own special qualities. So the children
will be asked to think of their special qualities too. The class will
then end.