This is always one of our favourite times of the year at Starshine Yoga, with so many things to celebrate from Halloween, to Bonfire night and Diwali and of course, Christmas!
We started the term trying out some new breathing activities...
Here is our 'Ping Pong Belly Breath' where we try to breathe deeply without the ping pong ball rolling off our tummy!
We have also begun 'Back To Back' breathing in pairs where we are trying to feel each other's breath through our backs.
We have been trying out some new relaxation sequences too at the end of our classes. One of the firm favourites has been our whole body relaxation using scarves, although they do tickle a little...!
We have enjoyed lots of new games this term. We like the competitive element of 'Dog Relay' as we are racing each other in teams...
The children really enjoy working together and are great at working in teams. One of their favourite team games is 'Rock, Paper Scissors' where we use 3 poses; Dragon, Flamingo and Tiger. Tiger beats Flamingo, Flamingo beats Dragon and Dragon beats Tiger. We have to decide as a team which of the 3 poses to choose, then Melissa counts down 3, 2, 1, reveal...when we reveal our pose to the other team we see which group has won the round.
Lots of our games require the children to be creative. In 'Alphabet Hoops' they have to run to a hoop and create a pose beginning with the letter in the hoop. In this photo you can see an S in the hoop, so James was in Spider pose, Max was in Shark pose and Aadiya was in Slide pose!
The students always enjoy partner games and 'Mirrors' has been a new one this term. When Melissa calls "mirrors" we must make the same pose as our partner trying to move our body in exactly the same way so that it looks like we are looking in a mirror at our reflection.
'Butterfly Skittles' is probably the favourite game from the term. The children learnt a new pose; Butterfly, and they sit in this pose trying to bend and stretch to dodge a ball as it is rolled towards them!
The children have been really challenging themselves this term with their impressive poses. Below you can see them doing Flag (also known as Side Plank), Wheel (also known as Bridge), Dragonfly and Pigeon. They loved doing Pigeon pose because lots of them say their parents do Pigeon in their own yoga classes!
We have been continuing to practise mindfulness each week and one of the most rewarding mindfulness activities we did this term was 'Petals Of Positivity'. The children were each given the sheet below with 'I am' written in the middle. In each of the petals they were encouraged to write positive words. It was really heart warming to see what the children each wrote and for them to be reminded of how wonderful they are, something they can refer to if they are feeling down or lacking in some self - esteem. Perhaps we adults need to complete this activity?!
We have continued to really enjoy our work in a number of primary schools.This has been our first term working with Glastonbury Thorn Infant school. We have spent each Friday afternoon working with Year 2 who were fantastic at partner yoga. Here you can see the children doing Double Boat and Twisted Seated Pretzel which is a tricky one!
At Tickford Park Primary School the children were fantastic at describing what pose to do to their partner who was blindfolded!
At Loughton Manor First School Year 1 children have been practising yoga for the first time. One of their favourite games has definitely been 'Umbrella Game' where the magical yoga umbrella picks a pupil to show a yoga pose for the rest of the class to copy.
We had a great time dressing up for Halloween and even made our own Starshine Yoga pumpkin!
We also dressed up in our Christmas classes and had great fun creating our own yoga versions of Christmas objects...
Sally as a present!
Emily as a sleigh!
James as a snowflake!
Keira as an Angel!
We finished the term making Christmas tree decorations. The children thought of a word personal to them to describe yoga and then decorated the star. We hope this will bring a touch of calm to the children's houses over the busy Christmas period.
Happy Christmas and enjoy a festive mince pie like the one we will be leaving out for Father Christmas!