Sun Salutations

We often get asked by our parents, “What’s that song, the one with the sun in it that my child can’t stop singing.” It never fails to bring a smile to our lips as we know instantaneously exactly what they are referring to.

The answer?

It’s Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley, our very favorite way to teach one of the most fundamental set of postures in traditional yoga asana in a fun and child-friendly way.

Sun Salutations are a part of both the Hatha & Ashtanga yoga lineages and have been incorporated into most schools of yoga today. They include a slightly variable set of yoga poses linked by breath to create a smooth circuit of prana (life energy) running throughout the body. Simply put, Sun Salutations help warm up the body, increase the heart rate, and create heat needed for deeper and stronger yoga poses that follow in the practice.

For children, Sun Salutations can be an essential landmark or focal point for the children to grab onto during a yoga class. Students who have heard the song many times before may feel comfortable singing and will link the movements automatically with ease while newer students may enjoy listening and following along their peers and the teacher.

It’s a fun and easy way to engage children in traditional practice without requiring a lot of teaching or modelling.

plank

 

How to practice: 

For a little context watch this video of one of our class practices.

  • Do a light warm-up of the joints in the body especially the wrists and ankles.
  • If students are new you can take a moment before to introduce:
    • Mountain Pose
    • Forward Fold
    • Plank
    • Cobra
    • Down Dog 
  • Play the song: Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley.
  • Follow the movements as directed by the song

Cobra pose

Benefits:

Yoga pose vinyasa:  The sun salutation is a group of yoga poses linked together by breath to create a sequence of movement. It is the only traditional part of the physical yoga practice that traditionally promotes cardio-vascular health.

Sequencing: Learning postures in sequence helps develop memory function as well as coordination and problem solving.

Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and builds respiratory endurance.

Yoga poses: help build good posture habits, stabilize the core, strengthen the extremities and develop balance.

mountain

Try it out at home and let us know what you think!

Interested in learning more about sharing the practice of yoga for children? Learn more about our training programs here.

Jai Thep

Chiang Mai is a melting pot for creativity that has earned itself the reputation of the cultural and arts center of Thailand. So, it seems fitting that Chiang Mai now also boasts a 3 day music and arts festival in the green mountainous jungle of Samoeng (about 45 min from the Old City). Along with international music acts and art installations there was also a stacked lineup of wellness workshops hosted by some of Chiang Mai’s prominent healing artists. There were acro yoga workshops, dance mandala, reiki, healing sound bowls, hip hop wellness and of course a little dash of kid’s yoga.

We loved leading our yoga classes under a fabulous bamboo circus big top and sharing partner poses, meditation and laughter.

Thanks for having us Jai Thep, we can’t wait to be a part of your next grand celebration of imaginative living.

Photos by: Ori Latter

 

 

Summer Camp: Outer space, inner mind

This past week our garden was full of astronauts, asteroids, aliens, a couple moons and rockets as we used our imaginations to travel to the edges of the solar system. Here are some of our favorite moments with our brilliant buddies.

One of the most delicious moments was making Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Moon Cookies, vegan and non-vegan versions. Yum Yum Yum.

Thanks to our friend Kimmy, we learned some amazing clay sculpting techniques and took home some tiny Pikachus and people!

We used a little paper, oil pastels and scissors to create a shadow puppet laser pointer with the help of a very special facilitator.

Partner poses give us a chance to experience our own strength while supporting our friends, relay races help us work together and recycled boxes make the silliest hats.

 

Some musical scales, asteroid inspection and moon demolition, exploring caves on other planets… all a part of our Summer of Fun here in the garden. Thank you so much for filling our week with imaginative fun, we can’t wait to welcome you again soon.

 

<3,

Kids Yoga Garden