We are excited to introduce Angharad, a toddler yoga instructor, who lives in England and is of Welsh heritage. Today, Angharad shares with us a little about her homeland of Wales and a way to celebrate an important holiday for Welsh people—Saint David’s Day on March 1st. Please join us in giving Angharad a warm welcome.
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus! This means “Happy Saint David’s Day” in Welsh!
In the city of Cardiff, Wales, each year on March 1st, a parade is held on Saint David’s Day. This holiday brings together many cultural groups, schools, musicians, and locals dressed in traditional Welsh costumes.
Welsh cakes are enjoyed, with leg of roast lamb, of course. We all love a roast!
The wonderful thing about St David’s Day is the motto of “Do the little things.” Saint David was celebrated for working extremely hard, being incredibly determined, and always giving to others less fortunate.
A little about Wales:
- There is great pride in the Welsh flag. The myth of the Red Dragon leads back to wonderful stories of a young Merlin and Uther Pendragon.
- The Celtic Welsh language is still strongly used. And do you know anywhere else that has a dragon on its national flag?
- Wales is a very proud nation and has a very strong rugby team. Welsh rugby shirts are often worn at festivals and celebrations, including Saint David’s Day.
- Wales is a land that is literally as old as the hills. It is a land full of mystical wonder, with a history of castles (over 500!), battles, princes, and wizards.
- Mount Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales. It is 1,085 meters above sea level.
- Many performing artists come from Wales, including Tom Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen, Timothy Dalton, and Cerys Matthews.
I was actually born in England and grew up in the Forest of Dean (check it out; you’ll love it), but I have a strong Welsh-proud family. My siblings and I were sent to school in Gwent, Wales.
One of my fondest memories was during the drive to school while watching clouds drift around the hills. My mum would say, “Look, the dragons are waking up!” I still live in England, but I can see across the River Severn to Wales from my house.
I began practicing yoga at the age of seventeen. I incorporated yoga into my childcare training and continued throughout my childcare career in nurseries and preschools. It wasn’t until last year that I had an opportunity to gain a qualification as a toddler yoga instructor. I am now researching and working hard to create strong, fun, and engaging yoga sessions, and Kids Yoga Stories has been an essential part of my growth.
Yoga Poses to honor Saint David’s Day
To honor this special holiday in the United Kingdom, we can practice a few yoga poses inspired by the national symbols of Wales. Simply clear a space, grab a mat, take off your socks and shoes, and go on a pretend journey to Wales by acting out these movements below.
1. Pretend to be a leek. (Mountain Pose)
Leeks are a popular root vegetable in Wales and are grown aplenty.
How to practice Mountain Pose: Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart and toes pointing forward. Take your arms straight alongside your body. Pretend to be a leek getting ready to be put into a warm soup.
2. Pretend to be a daffodil. (Crescent Moon Pose)
The appearance of daffodils in early spring coincides with March 1st, Saint David’s Day.
How to practice Crescent Moon Pose: Standing, reach your arms up high over your head, bringing your palms together. Tilt your upper body to one side. Come back to center. Tilt your body to the other side. Pretend to be a daffodil swaying gently in the breeze.
3. Pretend to be a dragon. (Warrior 2 Pose)
The Red Dragon on the Welsh flag leads back to wonderful stories of a young Merlin and Uther Pendragon.
How to practice Warrior 2 Pose: Start in a standing position. Step one foot back, bend your front knee, and open your hips to the side. Then reach both arms up, parallel to your legs, and look over your front fingertips. Make sure your front knee is bent forward so that your knee is over your ankle. Pretend to be a dragon on the Welsh flag. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
4. Pretend to be a red kite. (Warrior 3 Pose)
This majestic bird of prey is a popular bird for Welsh people and can be seen soaring over the countryside of Wales.
How to practice Warrior 3 Pose: Stand on one leg. Extend the other leg behind you, flexing your foot. Bend your torso forward and take your arms back alongside your body. Pretend to be a red kite with its wings stretched out soaring over the farmlands. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
5. Pretend to be a lamb. (Puppy Pose)
Sheep farms can be seen throughout the rural areas of Wales, and the wool industry is important for the economy.
How to practice Puppy Pose: From all-fours, slide your hands out in front of you while lowering your chest toward the ground. Keep your arms straight and raise your elbows off the ground. Rest your forehead between your extended arms, letting your spine curve naturally. Pretend to be a lamb stretching after an afternoon nap on the hillside.
If you have a holiday or celebration that you honor through yoga and mindfulness, please reach out to us—we would love to share your ideas with our Kids Yoga Stories community!
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