Breath, Movement and Nature -- Yoga for Spring Part III
By Lara Hocheiser, Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Founder/Owner, and Kathryn Boland, Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Blog Manager
Bees buzz through flowers, birds hop in the new grass, and butterflies float along. All the while, a gentle breeze stirs the air and contributes to the movement of all of these living things. It’s finally spring, and there’s something to the movement and air coming together all around. We can replicate that recipe in our bodies through yoga, and in so doing lift our moods -- just like spring itself can!
Oxygenating our blood through breath and simultaneously moving in healthy ways has varied other health benefits, for all ages and varied physical conditions, as well. It’s also a great way to engage kids in yoga and mindfulness practice! Here are three yogic exercises that combine movement and breath in clear ways that the children in your life might just love! To celebrate the new growth and life all around us, these three exercises are additionally closely connected with nature. Happy spring!
- Sit in a comfortable position (older kids may want to sit criss-cross applesauce).
- Rub your hands together. Wait for everyone to copy you.
- Then once they have, as you breathe in reach your arms up as high as they can go.
- Then, as you audibly breathe out, lower your arms to your sides.
- Finally start to bring your hands behind your back, elbows pointing out to the sides, as you say aloud, “Hide your hands behind your back! Now, you’re a bumblebee!”
- Forming a stinger is optional. Do so by pointing out a finger or two.
- Then, buzz-buzz-buzz as you move your torso in circles!
- Repeat several times until children know what to say and do.
- Stand in Mountain Pose and bring your hands just below your heart and above your belly button. This spot, known as the solar plexus, can store energy and power for you. As you inhale, reach your hands to the Sun and spread out all your fingers.
- At the top of the inhale, imagine grabbing from the Sun’s rays and pulling the energy in.
- As you exhale, draw your fists toward your solar plexus. Your elbows will bend and go behind you.
- When your elbows are back and hands are in front of your solar plexus, yell, “HA!”
- Repeat several times. Stop after a maximum of 5 repetitions.
- Stand up tall. Imagine you are holding music conductor sticks in both hands.
- Quickly inhale 1/3 (1/3 inhale, as it’s a 3-part inhale) as you open your arms to their respective sides.
- Quickly inhale another 1/3 as you inhale your arms up to shoulder height.
- Inhale the final 1/3, arms up to the sky, meeting overhead.
- Drop your arms down all the way back down.
- Repeat that a maximum of five times.
Interested in learning more yoga for spring? Check out our Spring Yoga Sequence and Cards and Lesson Plans! Interested in learning more about how to use yoga to encourage social/emotional learning, as these exercises can? We offer a Yoga Tools for Social/Emotional Learning Course. Take it as an individual course within our 95-Hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training! Questions? Email Lara at email@example.com, or book a call with her!