Choosing a theme for children's yoga classes can often be a great jumping off point to teach specific class material. While I think it's important, especially when teaching older children, to delve deeper into topics and not rely as much on themes for every single class, it can definitely be a whole lot of fun and equally as meaningful to choose a theme for your classes.
This spring, the Star Wars movie was all the rage and many of my young students requested a Star Wars class. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I was very excited to take this on.
Often times when I look for class plans online, I come up empty. Usually there are a few reliable children's yoga blogs or resources that I can count on, but for the most part I have created all my own curriculum.
Going into my 3rd year of teaching kids yoga, I realized it might be helpful to start to share my lesson plans in hopes it gives other teachers or even parents, educators, etc. some inspiration for working with their kiddos. Below is my lesson plan and my notes from our class. Enjoy!
STAR WARS YOGA (A class for 6-10 year olds)
- We started class in a circle on our mats and I asked the kids what they knew about Star Wars. They were excited to share the characters, the names, the plot and more. They loved talking about their favorite characters and even kids who didn't know about the movie enjoyed hearing the conversation and learning all about the plot.
- In order to get our wiggles and giggles out, we learned Darth Vader Breath (a simpler version of Ujjayi breath. I taught the kids to inhale with mouth closed and exhale with their mouth open like they were trying to fog a mirror) We talked about the character of Vader and how he has a lot of anger and "darkness". The kids mentioned things that make them angry or frustrated and we decided Vader breath could be a good way to help vent your anger safely.
- I taught the kids a simple flow using some of the characters of Star Wars.
- Chewbacca: Mountain Pose but with arms up to the sky and standing on tip toes. Basically we wanted to make ourselves as big and tall as possible and we even made chewbacca noises!
- Rey: Warrior 2 with our hands holding a pretend staff like Rey.
- BB8: On our backs tucked into a ball. We decided this pose needed to move and so it wa an extra challenge (and hilarious) to roll around in this pose making robot noises.
- Storm Trooper: Warrior 3 with fingers overhead and interlaced like a gun.
- Darth Vader: Side plank pose. The kids decided we should pretend we have a light saber in the top arm.
- Next, we played Musical Mats. I found some cheap Star Wars trading cards on amazon and used those as our yoga cards. When the music stopped the kids dashed to the mat closest to them, looked underneath and found a card of one of the 5 pose characters we had just learned. They had to do the pose and most importantly hold it for 10 seconds!
- Our next game was called Using the Force. Each child got a partner and two popsicle sticks for the partners. They started seated and had to keep the popsicle between their index finger and the index finger of their partner. So, "using the force", they had to work together to keep the sticks between themselves from falling. Of course I challenge them by asking them to stand up, move around, go at different speeds, try a balance pose facing each other, etc.
- We had a short musical interlude at this point. It's a lot for kids to do 45 minutes of yoga, so often times I like to include some music or musical instrument games, as well as creative movement to allow kids to blow off some steam between focusing during games/activities. I told the kids they were at a cosmic cantina filled with aliens and bounty hunters, and they giggled and danced crazily while we put on some funny alien music.
- Starting to slow things down, I turned the twinkling lights in the studio on, turned on some calm classical music and gave my students some different Star Wars character mandala coloring sheets. I love doing mandalas toward the end of class when kids are tired and starting to either get too crazy or losing their focus.
- We finished up our mandalas (I always tell them they can just take them home with them) and we started into savasana. I set the kids up with a bolster under their knees, quiet music, darkened the studio a bit and spritzed the air with some lavendar and orange oil spray. The kids love this part. We finished with a guided imagery about traveling peacefully through space on our mats. As I told the story, I rub each child's foot (those who wanted me to) with a bit of lotion. (again, the kids love this!)
- It was a REALLY fun class and I think the kids had a great time!