For the Love of Yoga

February is the month of love. The greeting card companies have a hay day! The colors pink, red, white, and purple get worn out. And everyone overdoses on chocolate and those little candy hearts with messages on them. I thought I would share some ideas for the yoga teachers, parents, school teachers, and babysitters who may want to add some Valentine flare to their activities with children this month. I hope you enjoy them and the time spent with your little ones leaves you both feeling full of love.

Story idea: Read and act out Valentine cards. Talk about the different kinds of cards they will make/send/receive. Even go around and have the kids share WHO they are sending a special Valentine to. For example, ask, “What does your valentine say? Let’s open it up!” Pretend to open the cards, close the cards, turn the page, etc. using their legs, feet, hands, and whole body for those BIG cards! Are there animals on the cards? Act out those, too! Or, make up your own stories using Dancer, Bow, Arrow, Tootsie Roll, heart mudra, chocolate covered pretzels, etc. Partner poses would be a great way to show respect, love, and learn to work together with their family members and friends.

Salutation creation: You can use the song “Om Nimah Shivaya, Let your love shine through…” while you are doing sun salutations. Or you can create your own sun salutation to include some heart-opening poses.

Game ideas:
Hearts Hide & Seek: The kids walk around with eyes closed and arms extended in front. Try to find each other, just touch fingertips, say Namaste (or something sweet), and move on… the idea is they are “feeling” rather than seeing… leading with their hearts. Once they find a friend, they say “Namaste” or something sweet of your choice and move on to another friend.

Four Corners – Heart Edition: Okay, a little cheesy, but the heart has 4 chambers so why not play 4 Corners? Each corner can be a heart-opening pose (I found silhouettes of the poses I wanted on Google Images and just drew it on a piece of paper for my non-readers). Draw the pose, write the pose name, and give each pose a number: 1, 2, 3, 4. Turn on some fun music and encourage the kids to run, dance, and just move around the room while the music is playing. You stop the music, cover your eyes and count down from 5, giving them time to get to a corner and into a pose. Then call out the corner number. All the kids in that corner are “out” and can do what you like. I have them pick their favorite seated pose in the center of the room or they have to work together to make a flower pot (all in Flower pose with hands joined). With really little ones, just let them keep playing and don’t worry about a winner. Music starts and keeps going, etc. Poses I used for this: Bow, Dancer (cupid w/arrow), Reverse Warrior or Warrior 1, and Sukhasana (Easy pose) with their hands in heart mudra over their heart.

MC Yogi has a great song called “Give Love” that could be fun for Freeze Dance or Musical Mats or during 4 Corners.

Peaceful Garden: Before the kids completely relax, we ask them to tighten and release their muscles in various ways. In the tensing/release stage of relaxation, throw in a kiss face! Have them practice for all the kisses they will be giving out. Let them imagine being with someone they love in their garden or watching a TV show that they and their loved ones star in.

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