Early Childhood Yoga Experiences: What Color is Your Butterfly?
August 2, 2010
This post is part of an on-going series sharing time-tested and effective Early Childhood Yoga Experiences.
Sitting with the soles of the feet together, holding the ankles, is a classic yoga pose called Baddha Konasana. For young children, many yoga teachers forego the literal translation of “bound angle” pose for the more child-friendly Butterfly Pose. This a wonderful pose for young children to aid in hip opening and pelvic alignment. In the following playful approach, children are guided to focus more on the upward extension of the spine and uplifting of chest, rather than the forward folding.
For classes of 10 or less students
Everyone takes Butterfly Pose.
Teacher asks one student at a time, “What color is your butterfly?”
Student answers, “Purple with silver sparkles.”
Teacher: “Let’s all breath in a big purple breath and stretch our wings high into the sky.”
With the exhale, release arms and hold the ankles again
This continues until everyone has had a turn. Take short breaks, hugging knees together to release the stretch when needed.
For larger groups
Ask 3-5 children at a time to add one color to a big butterfly we are all creating together, then breath in all of those colors at once, stretching arms out and up like wings.
Repeat until all have had a turn.
Besides being fun for students, this approach encourages students to hold Butterfly Pose a little longer and repeat more frequently than they may want to without the imagination involved. Imaginations are wildly alive in many young children! As yoga teachers, we can utilize this developmental milestone to guide them deeper into the practice.
By the way, what color is your butterfly?