Celebrating holidays with a themed yoga class is always a hit, and Halloween is no exception. Whether you'd like to try this in class or at home, the following class plan is quite simple and very engaging for children as it utilizes an adventure story. Note that the class is not 'scary', but there is still an element of mystery and excitement built in. Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!
Set the stage with the story opening...It's Halloween Night...what are you being this year? (Let the children go around and share)
BOO BREATH - Extended exhale making a "Boooooooo" sound. Repeat 3 times.
Let's get our costumes on...Use SHAKE & FREEZE game as warm up. During 'shake' times, children pretend to get dressed very, very quickly while using body control to freeze when you call it out or stop the music (especially fun with fun halloween CD playing!)
Head outside to salute the FULL MOON!: HALF SUN SALUTE (waving to the moon), followed by HALF MOON POSE.
Let’s go for a walk around our neighborhood and stop at each house to see if they’ll give us a trick or a treat!Perform the WALKING, WALKING SONG sung to the tune of Frere Jaques:
Walking, Walking, Walking Walking - Hop Hop Hop - Hop Hop Hop - Running, Running, Running - Running, Running Running - Now, let's stop - Now, let's stop.
What do we see on our walk? STARS, TREE
Up in that tree is a BLACK CAT: CAT/COW ....hisssss…meow!
We keeping walking and come to a BRIDGE – let’s cross!
On the other side of the bridge are four scary-looking creatures!
The 2nd is a FLYING WICKED WITCH: WARRIOR III... She's got great balance!
The 3rd is a SPIDER....That just gave me the creepy crawlies!
And finally, we see a GHOST: Repeat BOO BREATH from above...I'm not so scared anymore.
The creatures all start giggling and soon you realize that they are actually your friends dressed up their Halloween costumes! They invite you to come with them to a Halloween party...
Take the CANOE (BOAT) across the river to the party! (Sing ROW YOUR BOAT to engage the children and keep them in BOAT POSE a little longer.)
Once out of our boats, you come to an old creaky GATE (KNEELING SIDE BEND). You open the gate (raising both arms to the sky)…creaaaaaeeeaaaK and walk through it into a dark yard with lots of viny TREES everywhere.
As you and your friends pass through the gate, you walk down a long path lined with big beautiful PUMPKINS: BALL ROLL
Finally, you arrive at the party! There is a swarm of happy people that come down to greet you when you park your canoe, yelling ‘Happy Halloween!'
Everyone at the party is BOBBING FOR APPLES: DOWN DOG to UPDOG (repeat several times, moving with the breath).
Play YOGI SAYS to review the poses.
SAVASANA to peaceful music with pleasant visualization of your choice focused on love, contentedness and relaxation (avoid reviewing potentially scary halloween adventure!)
Rather than giving out junky toys or candy, try temporary Halloween tatoos.
~ Lisa Flynn
Note: Poses, songs and activities in this lesson can be found in Lisa Flynn's book, Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children (Adams Media, 2013), as well as in the ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training, a weekend intensive currently available in 10 states across the country.