One of my guilty pleasures is browsing book stores, which I absolutely love to do whenever we’re traveling somewhere new. It’s the first thing I look for on the map of our destination. And, not surprisingly, I always gravitate toward the children’s book section. So when I came across this gorgeous book, I just knew I had to share it with you!
Don’t Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe, by Chelsea Clinton and Gianna Marino, is a beautifully illustrated and informative book about animals on the endangered species list.
Endangered animals have been on my to-do list of yoga themes for a while, but after seeing this book, I finally found my inspiration for planning the lesson. This book not only describes each animal, but also explains the vulnerability classification (from Not Vulnerable to Extinct), why the animals are endangered, and what we can do about it.
For this yoga lesson, you’ll find five animals on the “endangered” (fewer than 2,500 left) and the “critically endangered” (fewer than 250 left) lists, including favorites like elephants, tigers, and orangutans.
Endangered Species Day is honored each year in May. Have a look in your area to see if there are any special events going on that you could incorporate into your learning experience.
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5 Endangered Animals Yoga Poses for Kids
Follow the five-pose flow below to learn about the most endangered species in the world. Don’t worry if you haven’t tried yoga before—just jump in and give it a try. Clear the space, practice barefoot, and have fun. The focus is on introducing yoga to children, not on perfectly aligned poses. Be safe, but also encourage them to explore their creativity.
1. Pretend to be an Asian elephant (found in Asia).
How to practice Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend: Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Step your feet out wide, bend your upper body forward, clasp your hands together, and pretend to be an elephant with its trunk hanging between its legs.
2. Pretend to be a black rhino (found in Africa, India, Nepal, Indonesia, and Malaysia).
How to practice Cat Pose: On all fours, round your back and tuck your chin into your chest. Pretend to be a black rhino grazing in a field.
3. Pretend to be a tiger (found in Southeast Asia, China, and Russia).
How to practice Extended Cat Pose: Come to all fours, extend one leg out behind you, and look forward. Take the opposite arm out in front of you to counterbalance. Repeat on the other side. Pretend to be a tiger running through the forest with its cub.
4. Pretend to be a whale shark (found in oceans close to the equator).
How to practice Locust Pose: Lie on your tummy, lift your chest and shoulders, and look up. Pretend to be a whale shark swimming through the deep waters.
5. Pretend to be an orangutan (found in Indonesia and Malaysia).
How to practice Cobbler’s Pose: Sit on your buttocks with a tall spine, bend your legs, place the soles of your feet together, and pretend to cuddle your baby like an orangutan.
What’s your favorite endangered animal yoga pose?