“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always be kind.” ~Helen Steiner Rice
With the Christmas season comes noise, excitement, busy schedules, and anxiety. Yes, it also brings with it a lot of joy and magic…but we will miss it all if we don’t take a minute to slow down. No one needs this reminder more than I do. Really.
We have been doing a lot of seasonal crafting, baking, painting, dancing, singing, and playing around here…and we’ve been enjoying it. But today we are slowing it down and taking time for our minds. It’s time for a little yuletide yoga.
I created a yoga practice for 2 and 3 yr olds. It’s simple, which is perfect for little ones. It’s short, which is necessary little ones. And it’s festive, which is just a bonus.
I started by choosing 5 ornaments from my Christmas tree. I chose an angel, a gingerbread man, a little bird, a snowflake, and a little tree. Then I matched up yoga poses with the ornament. Here is a little chart for you explaining which poses we practiced for each ornament I chose. The benefits of each of the poses is included…We sat on our mats and passed each ornament to one another. We talked about each one and what each one looked like and what we liked about them.We started with the tree. We talked about how tall trees are. How straight they are. And how strong they are.And then we stood to practice our “Christmas tree” pose. Now, most toddlers will not have the balance to keep one foot up on the other leg. We do a 2-legged tree with the smalls. Although, if the older ones want to try, I don’t stop them.Such as strong, straight, and beautiful Christmas tree!
Next, we moved on to the snowflake. Words like “pretty”, “sparkly”, “pointy”, and “white” were used to describe it…I chose triangle pose for the snowflake because of all its straight lines and points, and it gets low to the ground as you move into the pose…just like a snowflake falls from the sky.
Next came the bird. As we passed him around, we talked about how tiny he was and we discussed how birds can perch so carefully on little twigs and wires and not fall over.I chose eagle pose for this, knowing full well that the smalls were most likely unable to do it. I wanted to show them how difficult it is sometimes to keep our balance. We have to practice. We have to concentrate. And we need to grow. They had a grand time trying this pose and there was a lot of giggling and flapping of “wings”! *If you are unsure of what eagle pose would look like for a young child, here is an illustration from our Yoga Planet activity set… And here is how a 2 year old practices the eagle…
Next came the angel. We talked about how the angel flies and has beautiful wings.Then we practiced Warrior lll…our “angel pose.” It is tricky, but the smalls did great! We moved into it slowly, starting with spreading our wings, lifting one leg to the back and tipping ourselves forward very slowly…
And finally…the gingerbread man. He was a favourite amongst the smalls, they couldn’t wait to have a turn holding him…And the perfect pose for a gingerbread man? Savasana…of course. It translates as corpse pose, but I didn’t tell the children that! Hehehehe! We call it “resting pose” here at Small Potatoes. The kids laid out on their mats just like the gingerbread man and we did some belly breaths and I read them a little story while they practiced their savasana…When we were finished with our resting pose, we sat once again on our mats and talked briefly of what we liked best about Christmas. Then we put our hands to our heart centre and gave a prayer of thanks for such a lovely season of peace. Namaste.
Don’t forget today is the start of a new Weekly Kid’s Co-op! If you have a kid-friendly activity that you’d like to share, click the little link at the bottom of this post and follow the simple steps. If not, go ahead and click the link to view all the other fantastic ideas that are already linked up! Enjoy and have a happy holiday season!