Friday, February 1, 2013

Chinese New Year and Yoga (Ages 3-5)

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Happy New Year in Chinese)
The Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holiday's. February 10, 2013 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and the first day of the year of the Snake. Chinese tradition dictates that those born in Snake years tend to be great thinkers and very wise. Other traits of the Snake; determined, passionate, sympathetic, calm and loyal.
I really enjoy celebrating the Chinese New Year with yoga. I created a colorful, fun and energizing class celebrating the Year of the Snake and wanted to share it with you!
Props that can be used, but defiantly not a "have too": Stuffed animals (especially a snake) that represent the animals in the Chinese Zodiac and Globe (I travel with a blow-up globe).
Sharing Circle:
Gathered the kids in a sharing circle's and tell then you are going on an adventure to China to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the year of the Snake. Continue to show where China is on the map.
(My class is focused on ages 3-5 years old, so I have to keep it simple. However, if you have older yogis, you can go into more depth of the tradition and possibly the lunar calendar.)

Breath of Joy
Sun-ray Circle
Chair Pose
Low Lunge
Twisting Dragon
Downward Dog
Childs Pose
Seated Twist
* Please remember what you do for one side of the body, you do for the other side.
Have the children lay on their backs on their mats/towel. Deep breathing. When the children are calm and balanced (centered), it is time to share a special Snake book.
I decided on a book from the Tales of the Chinese Zodiac series, Year of the Snake by Oliver Chin and illustrated by Jennifer Wood.

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