Nicole Koleshis
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Pop the bubbly!

It began as a desire to provide accessible, educational and fun curriculum for Kids Yoga Teachers, educators, parents and essentially anyone who wanted ideas for sharing Yoga with kids. Four years later, the Next Generation Yoga Lesson Plan Club is still going strong. Jodi Komitor and I have now co-created almost 100 original NGY Lesson Plans and have released inspiring themes each and every month since the April 2013 launch. It’s been an incredible experience – one that has turned me into a creative writer and exemplifies the power of collaboration. Cheers to it all!

This month’s anniversary theme is “Under the Big Top” and I can’t believe it took us 4 years to release a circus-themed Lesson Plan! My love of everything circus-related began when I moved to Seattle and discovered Circus Contraption and the Moisture Festival. When I learned about CircusYoga, I couldn’t sign up for their immersion fast enough ... and they provided great inspiration for this Lesson Plan. I love the vibrancy, talent, musicality, humor, acceptance and community that traditional and non-traditional circus atmospheres offer. All of these concepts are woven throughout “Under the Big Top” in the form of Yoga poses, games, breathing exercises, mindfulness activities and much more.

Younger children can barely contain their excitement for “Under the Big Top” and older kids love the glimpse into another world that it provides. Just like with other NGY Lesson Plans, kids usually have ideas and thoughts to contribute. Good thing we always create space for this and welcome sharing! Try asking an open-ended question, related to the theme, at the beginning of the class, such as, “What acts will we see at the circus?” or “Who will we meet under the big top?” Not only does this give the children a chance to be heard, it gives you insight into their knowledge about the theme … and it might also give you an idea or 2 to incorporate into the class!

Oh and I can’t get enough of the musical selections for these Lesson Plans! From marching bands (another one of my favorite things) to waltzes, choosing songs for the playlists was so fun and I think I was smiling the entire time.

Next month’s I’ll be talking about “Shape it up!” and until then, I’ll be celebrating this NGY Lesson Plan Club milestone. Happy Anniversary to us and to everyone who has shared in this journey!

Happy Teaching,

Nicole

P.S. You can purchase “Under the Big Top” for 2-7 yr. olds here and “Under the Big Top” for 8-13 yr. olds here. Or if you’re ready to commit to a new NGY Lesson Plan a month, you can join the NGY Lesson Plan Club here.