Sarah and Martin Moesgaard
Family Yoga Sample Class
Sharing a lesson plan from our Grow and Flow Family Yoga class from the winter of 2022. This class is designed to target the motor, cognitive and psycho-social development of kiddos 1-3 years old, while inviting younger and older siblings and at least one adult to participate with them.
This class is about 45 mins long and we have a 30 min snack, socializing, and community time after class with snacks provided by the studio and time for parents to chat, kids to play with the yoga props or toys we used in class and explore the space. For this age, we don't include a craft time, but for older groups we would. And for this age, we always ask a parent or adult to come along and ACTIVELY join the entire class. (Read: No cellphones!) Poses are not fixed, so we might use Child'e pose and call it "Bear pose" today, but call it "Turtle pose" next week. See our article on Great Books for Family Yoga for more inspiration. Almost any book with lots of characters can be plugged into this outline.
Welcome and Warm up/ Connect to yoga Time
Each family group creates their own island of yoga or puzzle mats and we place our islands in a circle. We go from island to island and each child shares their name in our Hello song:
"Hello, hello, hello everybody,
Hello, hello, it is ncie to see you here.
Here is [Ms. Sarah]. Hello [Ms. Sarah];
Here is [next kid]. Hello [next kid].
Hello, hello, hello everybody,
Hello, hello, it is ncie to see you here."
Brain Dance - Nursery Rhymes version
A set of exercises I use in every single class based on the developmental movement pattern work of Irmgard Bartenieff. I use my own version of the adaptation for children created by Anne Green Gilbert. (See our article, "All About the Brain Dance," for an easy to follow script and a link to the Spotify playlist we use.)
Sun Salute Song
Starting from Mountain Pose:
"Oh mister sun, sun," Upward Salute
"mister golden sun," Standing Forward Fold
"please shine down on me." walking feet back to plank and dropping to belly on floor
"Oh, mister sun, sun, mister golden sun," Upward Facing Dog
"hiding behind a tree," Downward Facing Dog
"these little children are asking you," jump/walk forward, Half Standing Forward Fold
"please come out so we can play with you." Standing Forward Fold
"Oh, mister sun, sun, mister golden sun," Rise to Upward Salute
"Please shine down on me!" Mountain Pose hands to heart.
Repeat several times.
Story/ Connect to your island Time
Review poses we'll need for our story
*Depending on the group, how long we have been playing yoga together, their ages, etc. I some times assign the poses or I may give the name of the pose and let the group create the poses together or each individual island create poses themselves.
Snowflake pose: Goddess or Horse pose (This pose will also do some spinning and leaping, so let's practice spinning and leaping and then coming to stillness again in Snowflake pose.)
Caterpillar/Crysalis pose: Staff pose with one partner in Staff while the other partner sits on their lap. Then, Seated Forward Fold with the front partner folding forward and the back partner wrapping over and around to create the chrysalis. (Practice going from Caterpillar pose to Crysalis pose. Can you work together to take your caterpillar for a walk?!)
Turtle Pose: Bound angle folding forward with a round back like a turtle shell. (Try sticking your head out and pulling it back in like a curious turtle.)
Bat pose: Handstand. (You may need a wall or a friend to help you go upside down. Don't forget to point and curl your toes like you are hanging in your cave.)
Squirrel pose: Malasana squat. (Gather, gather your acorns and munch them.)
Goose pose: Mountain pose (Stretch and fly your strong, wide arms.)
Snowshoe Hare pose: Hero pose. (Stretch your spine tall and be so still.)
Black Bear pose: Child's pose (Curl up snug and go to sleep for the winter.)
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer
*Read the story leaving room for everyone to practice their poses again as you go.
Game/ Connect to the group Time
In our story, the foxes and snow flakes were floating, spinning, and leaping to create their own unique, special dance. Let's make our scarves float...spin...leap...what other unique and wonderful dances can your scarf do?
*Give time for each kind of movement. One piece of music with different qualities can work, or use 4 different pieces of music: adagio for floating, allegro for spinning, grand allegro for leaping, and something fun but moderately paced for free dancing.
We'll try the same dances with our own bodies. Try floating softly...spinning quickly...leaping high...what other wonderful unique dances can your body do?
*Give time again for each kind of movement before cuing the next.
Now when the music is ON, show me your unique dance and when the music is OFF, we'll FREEZE like our bodies are frozen in the cold and have turned into ice. When the music is ON again, we'll thaw and dance some more...
*Repeat freezing and thawing and dancing several times.
Relaxation/ Connect inward Time
Please place your scarves in the basket and then find your island again. When you get there, we'll lie down flat on our backs and have a little rest. I will bring a breath buddy (beanie baby or bean bag) to place on your belly and you can breathe deeply in your belly, taking your buddy for a gentle floating ride up...and down...up...and down...up... and down.....
*gentle relaxation music playing. Maybe the "Longtime Sunshine song."
Sitting on our islands again, we sing our Goodbye song:
"Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye everybody.
Goodbye, goodbye, it was fun to play with you.
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye everybody.
Goodbye, goodbye, it was fun to play with you."
Snacks, play, and chatting with other families
Join our class
Join us for a Family Yoga or Family Movement class or workshop. Check out the calendar on our Home page or find us on social (TrainMovePlay everywhere) to see what we have coming up this month. We look forward to playing with you.