I am not one to teach the holidays per se, since so many people celebrate so many different holidays here in this diverse little city of New Haven. I don’t want to assume everyone celebrates Christmas because they don’t. I LOVE to teach a kids yoga lesson with the theme of LIGHT. All the December holidays use lights to brighten up the dark December nights. It’s a celebration of the light inside us as well as all the things that brighten our lives during this dark time. Enjoy the lesson!
Let Your Light Shine Bright Lesson (for pre-k – K)
Ask the students what they notice about this time of the year (here on the East Coast). The weather is colder. The days are shorter, the nights are longer. Ask “what do we notice about all the houses at night?” They have lights! Lot’s of holidays in the month of December use lights to brighten the dark nights. We put lights on trees, houses, candles in windows, etc. This sequence goes through all the things that will brighten up the dark and warm us up!
1. Candle Breath — Hold your pointer up to your nose, inhale and make a wish. Then exhale and blow out your candle. We do this 3 times, the first time we make a wish for ourselves, the 2nd time we make a wish for someone else, the 3rd time we make a wish for the earth.
2. Creating Energy—We rub our hands together really fast and then hold them up to our face to feel the warmth. This creates energy and heat, warming us up in the cold winter.
3. Mountain/Volcano — such a great way to warm us up and get out a little extra energy. Start in mountain with your hands touching over your heads. Rub hands together and with a loud “vollllllcano!” jump the legs and arms out in star pose. Jump the legs and arms back into place and do it again! We like to do this 3x for extra heat.
4. Standing Star – Stand with your arms and legs spread like an X. Mindfulness Tip: Ask the students to shine their light through their fingers, toes and out of their belly. I ask them to think of people they know in other parts of the world and to shine their light on to them. We also let our stars sparkle!
We also did the variations of Folded Star— Fold over and touch your toes. and Twisty Star—Place one hand on the floor in between your legs and lift the other arm up to the sky.
5. Sun Breath – Lift your sun above your head and then bring to your belly with a loud “hot!” Repeat 3x. You can also use the suns to warm up the body by placing it on every body part or balance on your head. Mindfulness Tip: See how still you can stand while balancing your sun on your head.
6. Crescent Moon — Reach your arms up overhead, either use your sun or clasp hands together and point your pointer fingers up to the sky. Inhale and lengthen, exhale and slowly bend over to one side. Inhale and come back to stand with your arms overhead, and then exhale to the other side. Give other options for arms, ex: holding wrists, or arms open overhead. Mindfulness tip: Ask kids to point to where they feel the stretch.
7. Half Moon Pose — I love the challenge of this pose! We place the sun on the floor in front of the mat. While standing in Warrior 2 pose, we point our toes towards the sunshine. We bend down and place our hand on the sun, while trying to lift our leg. If we can, we look up at our top hand towards the sky. It’s a fun challenge! When we do this one in the yoga studio, we use the wall.
8. Christmas Tree Pose— We stand with our legs open the width of the mat and our hands up to the sky palms together. Making our body look like the shape of a Christmas tree! We then take our hands and spiral then around our body pretending to decorate ourselves with lights!
9. Menorah Pose (Goddess Pose!) —We bend our knees and reach our arms out to the sides, bent at the elbow with fingers like candles pointing to the sky. Wiggling our fingers we imagine our candle lights flickering.
10. Birthday Candle —We lie on our back and lift our legs straight up to the sky. We wiggle our toes as if we are lighting our candles. We bring our legs down as we count backwards from ten.
11. Relaxation—As they relax, I tell them they have this beautiful light inside their heart. This light is their goodness. When we say at the end, The Light in Me sees the Light in You, this is the light we are talking about. We need to imagine that this light is moving through all our body parts, traveling from our heart to our toes, up through our legs and working its way to the space between our ears. This light allows us to relax, feel calm, quiet and peaceful.
Additional Ideas: Tea light gazing with these beautiful colored tea lights as a meditation.
Do you have other ideas to add bring more LIGHT into our life? Please share!