idea submitted by Alicia Watins
with additions from Yogainmyschool.com
The Fourth of July is Independence Day in the United States of America and is usually feted with fireworks, BBQs, picnics, parades, fairs, concerts, family reunions and all manner of fun summer activities. Red, white and blue and the stars and stripes abound in decorations, clothing and food choices. If you are looking for a fun and healthy addition to your 4th of July celebrations be sure to chorale the kids for this inspiring kids yoga sequence.
Fun Children’s Yoga Poses for 4th of July
Star: start as a baby star and grow big, reaching arms and legs wide. Twinkle hands and toes. Alternatively practice star pose.
Stars & Stripes: have children stand in a row side by side, an arm’s distance apart. Every other child is a star and the others are the stripes (mountain pose, tadasana). When you ring a bell they switch. Like half jumping jacks.
American Eagle: eagle pose (garudanasa)
Statue of Liberty: mountain pose (tadasana) with appropriate arm actions to imitate the torch (right hand) and tablet (left hand). Mantra to repeat: I stand for Liberty, Peace, Democracy.
Golden Gate Bridge: bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana)
Swimming: lie on stomach and imitate breast stroke and front crawl. Pause for a moment then reach the right arm and left leg away from one another. Rest. Reach the left arm and right leg away from one another in a lateral stretch. Rest. Reach the right arm, left arm, left leg & right leg, lifting everything then relax completely and bask in the sun, floating on your stomach or back.
Yoga Picnic: in groups of 3-5. One person can get into table top pose (hands and knees or like a crab with belly up). Other kids sit is hero’s pose (virasana) around the ‘table’ and pretend to have a picnic. After a few ‘courses’ (the children say what foods they’d like at a picnic) they can switch places and another child can be the ‘table.’
Lemonaid Squeeze: children sit up and hug their knees into their chests and squeeze everything (hands, feet, belly, face) – this is the squeeze part. Then, let all the juice flow out as they lay back on the mat to release and relax. Repeat 3-5 times.
Apple Pie: wide angle seated forward bend (upvistha konanasa), sit with legs extended and wide apart making a piece of pie triangular shape. Mix the pasty dough, roll it out. Slice apples and spread a nice thick layer. Season with cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, etc. Layer top crust evenly making sure to touch toes and crimp the edges. Brush with cream. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake (lean forward putting your pie in the oven). Count down from 10 until your pie is done and you can eat it all up.
Two Scoops (of Ice Cream): a partner variation of child’s pose (balasana) where one child is the bottom scoop (does child’s pose) and the second child does child’s pose on their back becoming the second scoop. Decide what flavors of ice cream you are depending on the colors you are wearing ex: green = mint chocolate chip, pink = strawberry/bubblegum, turquoise = blue raspberry, etc.
Fireworks: squat down into a ball and jump up high, arms and legs extending out. Don’t forget to shout “Boom! Pop!”
Rocket Fireworks: tree pose (vrksasana) with arms overhead in temple mudra (clasp hands, intertwining fingers, index fingers extended like a steeple)
Hot Dog: roll kids up in their yoga mats for final relaxation (savasana). Be sure to let them choose their condiments first.
Guided Visualization: imagine you are a firework, waiting until the perfect moment on a clear summer evening to burst forth, showing the world how amazing and incredible and beautiful you are. Decide what type of firework you will be. One that is loud, booming high overhead. Maybe one that dances and spins with light spilling in all directions. Maybe you shoot higher than all the others. Or pop and crackle quickly, sparkling in the night. Imagine what color you are as you burst across the sky: red, purple, yellow, orange, green, blue, silver. Hear everyone ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ in delighted amazement at your intensity, brilliance and splendor.
Ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the 4th of July
Cause baby, you’re a firework, come one show ‘em what you’re worth
Baby, you’re a firework, come on let your colors burst
Alicia Watins is the founder of Wee Warriors Yoga Playtime in NYC. She has trained with Karma Kids, Every Kids Yoga for Children with Special Needs and Post Partum Yoga with Baby Om. She has a passion for sharing the benefits of yoga with children while stimulating their imaginations.