Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in India in late fall. For five days, people from around the world join in celebrating the Hindu New Year. This year, Diwali will be celebrated from November 3rd to 8th in India, but around the world, it will most likely be celebrated only for one day, on either the 6th or 7th of November.
Diwali is named after the Sanskrit word of “deepa,” which is “light,” and “vali,” which means “row,” essentially a row of lights. Families come together to celebrate this festive holiday by decorating their homes, giving gifts, lighting lamps, going to the mandir (temple), and enjoying fireworks. It is a time to offer prayers to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and to make intricate designs called rangolis on the floor with colored sand and rice flour.
Today, we’re going to celebrate Diwali by practicing yoga poses for kids to help us think about the special aspects of this Indian holiday.
5 Yoga Poses to Celebrate Diwali with Kids
1. Pretend to be a sparkler.
How to practice Dancer’s Pose: Stand tall in Mountain Pose: Then stand on your right leg, reach your left leg out behind you, and place the outside of your left foot into your left hand. Bend your torso forward, with your right arm out in front for balance, and arch your leg up behind you. Pretend to be a glittery sparkler. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
2. Pretend to be a temple.
How to practice Downward-Facing Dog Pose: Step back to your hands and feet in an upside-down V shape, with your buttocks up in the air, and pretend to be a mandir (temple) or church, where people go to worship on Diwali.
3. Pretend to be a flower.
How to practice Flower Pose:Come to sit on your buttocks with a tall spine, lift your bent legs, balance on your sitting bones, and weave your arms under your legs with your palms facing up. Pretend to be a blossoming lotus flower being created with colored sand into a rangoli pattern.
4. Pretend to be a candle.
How to practice Half Shoulder Stand: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms resting alongside your body, and chin tucked in. On an exhale, push your palms down and lift your legs straight up, making an L shape with your body. Stay in this position or squeeze your belly and raise your hips. Then bend your elbows and place your palms on your lower back for a half shoulder stand. Pretend your feet are the flickering flames and your legs are the candlesticks of an oil lamp, called a diya.
5. Pretend to be Lakshmi.
How to practice Easy Pose: Sit cross-legged and rest your palms on your knees. Close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing so. Pretend to be Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Think of ways you’d like to bring peace and joy into your life.
5 Diwali Books for Kids
Your local library should have some great picture books on Diwali. My daughter and I were able to find at least a dozen books (both non-fiction and fiction) on Diwali to learn all about this special Indian holiday. Here are five of favorite fiction books:
(Amazon affiliate links below)
Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story (Festival Time)
by Jonny Zucker and Jan Barger
The Diwali Gift
by Shweta Chopra, Shuchi Mehta, and Anna Koan
Diwali (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme)
by Allan Morey, Flavia Sorrentino, and Mark Oblinger
Lots of Lights: Lots of Lights
by Kavita G. Sahai and Vladividal
Let’s Celebrate Diwali
by Anjali Joshi and Tim Palin
PIN IT FOR LATER:
Check Out Our Diwali Yoga Cards for Kids
Glow like a sparkler, shine like the moon, and dance like the Hindu god Ganesha.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere. This deck of yoga cards for kids was inspired by the celebration of lights and the inner light within each and every one of us.
Share the joy of this holiday with your kids while practicing yoga.
Download these 34 digital Diwali Yoga cards to learn through movement in your home, classroom, or studio. The deck includes an index card, yoga tips, pose instructions, 12 yoga pose cards, and 12 matching Diwali-inspired cards. The multicultural yoga kids are from seven countries.
Other Diwali Ideas
Check out the collection of ideas on the Artsy Craftsy Mom blog for more Diwali ideas:
Also, have a look at the Diwali craft ideas on Red Ted Art:
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