Owls and Bats and Hedgehogs, Oh My!
This month's Next Generation Yoga Lesson Plan is "Nocturnal Animals." Since this topic feels like a relatively basic Kids Yoga class theme (compared to other NGY Lesson Plan themes like "Chakra Yoga – Rainbowland"), it's hard to believe that we're only now releasing it after over 4 years of writing monthly plans. And I'm glad we waited because I was able to weave in some of the more unique nighttime wanderers, like hedgehogs, fireflies, black rhinos, crickets and hermit crabs, that haven't made an appearance (or at the very least, many appearances) in other NGY Lesson Plans. It was SO fun watching the kids' faces light up when they learned we were going to curl up in a ball like a hedgehog in Child's Pose, turn into a cricket in Crow, and fly like a bioluminescent firefly in Warrior III.
Today was the perfect day, weather-wise, to teach this theme. It was a little rainy, dark and chilly, your typical Seattle fall day. We turned the lights off for an added "nighttime" effect, which really set the tone for the theme and calmed the energy in the room. At first, some of the younger children thought it was a Halloween yoga class (the excitement is already building!), so I was able to drop a spoiler alert that we'll be practicing with NGY's "Halloween Celebration" Lesson Plan in a couple of weeks (dancing to Caspar Babypants' "Them Bones" is a Halloween Yoga class fav, for sure!).
Speaking of music, both the 2-7 and 8-13 yr. old "Nocturnal Animals" Lesson Plans have amazing, theme-specific playlists including Caspar Babypants, Elizabeth Mitchell & Lisa Loeb (yes to the 90's!), Jessita Reyes, Poolside and more. Today the kids especially loved Moon Dancing to "Catch the Moon" by Elizabeth Mitchell & Lisa Loeb, and the songs listed for Savasana helped facilitate peace and relaxation for over 75 preschoolers today. I mean, the stillness of their little bodies was noteworthy. Even though this class had a good amount of whole body movement, I think turning the lights off for the entire class kept their energy organized and in the 'just right' zone, so peace and relaxation was more easily obtained at the end. I plan to experiment with this more and weave it into a future blog post.
If you've taught a "Nocturnal Animals" themed Kids Yoga class, with or without using the NGY Lesson Plan, I'd love to hear how it went! Feel free to comment below.