Kim and Amanda, two teachers/moms, from The Educators’ Spin On It asked me to write an article about how to incorporate yoga into our daily lives. As busy parents, we look to spend quality time with our children that involves something fun, active, and meaningful. Creating a Family Yoga experience together does just that.
Here is a guide to creating your own Zoo yoga experience at home:
- Theme. Pick a specific topic or storybook that you’d like to create your Family Yoga experience around. For example, let’s pretend that you are going to the Zoo.
- Brainstorm. Get out a big piece of blank paper and markers. List all the animals, people, and things that you would see, hear, and do on this topic. Record everyone’s ideas.
- Set-up. Clear the space where you would like to do your Family Yoga experience together. Ensure that it is a safe environment and that you all have plenty of room to move around. Some great spots are a room in your house, outdoors in the park, or in your campsite. Explain the purpose of the activity, how long it will take (10-20 minutes is great to start), your expectations of their behavior, any safety considerations, and that creativity is encouraged.
- Warm-up. Get the whole family moving and stretching to wake up your bodies in preparation for the experience. Sun Salutes are a great way to get started. Stretch up like a giraffe, fold forward like a waterfall, step back like a bear, hands & knees like a jaguar, and curl up like a mouse. Do again in reverse, repeat.
Picture of the giraffes taken at the Oregon Zoo.
What Amanda had to say about her Zoo Yoga Adventure:
“We really had a BLAST! The kids loved going from animal to animal and figuring out how they moved or how they could represent that animal in a pose. The following day, we were able to visit the zoo again from the comforts of our own living room in the storytelling format Mrs. Shardlow explained above. I extended our Yoga even further by reading “Sophia’s Jungle Adventure,” the third day and moving like the animals in the text. We then compared and contrasted the movements from our story (the zoo) and Sophia’s adventure. (Connecting literature, story retelling, the natural world AND movement – I really do like lessons and activities that are extremely effective and meaningful at teaching our families core values!) After re-reading the storytelling directions, I realized that we just brainstormed orally and that writing down our thoughts would add even another component to this activity – making it a definitely winner for our family.”
Feel free to share with your community and may your zoo yoga experience be filled with happiness!