Kids and Yoga: Do Storks Honk?

In our recent yoga class, we hunted for rats, felled some trees and shot off fireworks.

My kids and I recently started a yoga class.

It’s really for kids, but moms like to join in and pretend that they are working out. At least that’s what I do.

My girls were skeptical at first. They didn’t want to go, they weren’t sure about taking off their socks, they didn’t know the poses, blah blah blah.

I’m pretty sure I was even more skeptical than they were. A yoga class for KIDS? How can kids do yoga? Isn’t it all about breathing, peace, quiet and relaxation? (These are four areas in which my children do not tend to excel .)

Today when we arrived, Jedidiah (age 2) took off his coat and yelled “Soos! Off! Soos!” then he stole his sister’s mat and draped it over his head.  

Then there was a minor incident amongst my daughters regarding who would get the dark purple yoga mat and who would get the light purple yoga mat. (Really, people?) Finally, everyone found a spot and sat down.

The teacher was great. She kept them focused, interested and laughing. She explained how each of us is like an onion with three layers: spiritual, mental and physical. Yoga helps rejuvenate and sustain each layer.

She started off the class by having everyone wake up their entire bodies. As you can imagine, this involved a lot of jumping, wiggling and spinning.

Next was the fireworks pose. Zip! Hands zoom into the air. Boom! Hands clap over heads. Woooooooo. Hands fall back down to sides. This was a major hit.

After that was the lion pose. Apparently, it’s really fun to stick your tongue all the way down to your chin and ROAR like crazy.

Then they flapped their arms while they did the stork pose. There were a couple of honks from the back of the room. (Do storks honk?)

They enjoyed practicing what she called the “downward-facing doggy-dog” position. Jedidiah copied his sisters. He bent over, head between his knees, little butt up in the air. This was followed by a loud, inevitable toot – which was then followed by inevitable giggling.

They turned into cobras, flat on their stomachs with their heads up – searching for (nonexistent, thankfully) rats and mice.

They balanced on one foot to do the tree pose. The teacher said, “What beautiful trees! Look how those branches sway in the wind!” Someone lost their balance and called out “Timmm-ber!”

She also taught them a modified frog pose, which really worked out the old thigh muscles. The kids cried out for more, but the moms cried out, “Please stop!”

My favorite part of the whole class was the last pose, called Shavasana. You are supposed to relax and feel yourself melt into the floor. Everyone is supposed to be quiet and calm.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it was every mom’s favorite part. I wish it lasted longer.

The teacher rang the chimes. Then we bowed and said “Namaste,” which means “My soul bows to your soul.”

Afterward, the kids ran around playing freeze tag. I heard the occasional shout of “Namaste!”

I guess it can also mean “My soul unfreezes your soul.”  

It just goes to show you – you can take the kids to yoga, but you can’t calm them down.

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