Yogis and teachers like to teach about gratitude and being thankful this time of year. We create classes and activities that are based on these concepts. While we do try to show gratitude and be thankful all year round, I love that this class can be used to do just that. I taught it for the last few weeks to the preschoolers and modified it for the school age kids. I’m going to make sure to do this one at least once a season, we can never show too much gratitude for what we have and can always use the reminder.
Thankful Yoga Sequence for Preschoolers:
We start off talking about how lucky we are to have what we have, bodies that work, good food, homes, etc. Does everyone? Nope. You can go deeper into the concepts I’ve shared, or keep it brief. I’ve just shared the basics and wanted to let you take it and run with it!
1) Breathing Ball Breath:
Say “If we didn’t have our breath, we wouldn’t be alive. What parts of our body do we use to breathe?” Lungs -we put hands on lungs and say “thank you lungs”, Belly, chest, nose & mouth are also great answers to this question. Do the same for each. Then we use the breathing ball to take big deep breaths, keeping hands on our lungs, belly or chest to feel those deep breaths.
2) Roly Poly to Feet:
Ask “What part of our body do we use to stand?” FEET! Rub your feet and say “thank you feet!” What do we do with our feet? (answers include: run, jump, skip, hop, balance, etc) Legs, back & spine are also great answers to this question. Do the same for each.
Use all of those body parts we just spoke about (legs, feet, back, spine) to stand tall and still in mountain. Find that stillness.
4) Sunshine Warmup:
I place the sunshines on each head. What is this? the sun! What does it do for us? (warmth, light, makes things grow). Hold sun up over head and say “thank you sun! let’s warm our body parts with the sun and thank all these body parts that help us to do all these amazing things.” I ask what each body part does for us as we go along.
5) Tree Pose:
“The sun helps something grow that we already spoke about. We wouldn’t be here without it- it gives us food, shade & helps us to breathe, what is it?” a TREE! you trees! If you need a friend to help, put your hand palm to palm with someone next to you.” Say “thank you friend!
Lower yourself down to your belly, prop yourself up on elbows and ask kids, “what do we need to grow healthy & strong?” Food! “Think about your favorite food that makes you healthy and strong.” Mine is avocados, I’m putting that in my basket and say “thank you avocados!” Kids get to share their favorites and say “thank you _“.
7) Downward Dog:
Push your body up to dog pose. Ask kids “who has a pet? and if you don’t have a pet, is there a person who has one that you love? or an animal you love?” think about those pets and animals and say thank you to them. I say “thank you kitties!” Animals make us so happy, they show compassion and love and make our lives better. I challenge the kids to jump feet to hands and sit down.
I LOVE butterflies, they make me happy- so I say “thank you butterflies” Ask “what do you love?” if there is time, ask kids for a few ideas of other creatures to thank and do the poses to go with them.
9) Roly Poly:
Hug knees to chest and roll forward and back on your spine and again say “thank you spine.”
10) Birthday Candle:
Lift your legs to the sky and wiggle toes to light the candle. We all have a birthday that celebrates us! say “thank you birthday!”
We think about those who we love and who we are thankful for. Thinking about all the things this person does for you and why you are thankful for them.
Do you have your own thankful yoga class to share? What are you thankful for?