In the fall of 2018 I was part of the #UNSTOPPABLE Yoga for Youth Training program at Feel Better Yoga. It was an incredible experience to learn while being surrounded by educators, administrators, and counselors who all shared the same goal and intent of helping children. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience since it set my creative brain on fire. The instructor would describe a pose and all I could think of was how I could create a story for children. When I left that day I knew I needed to pull out my “thoughts” notebook and get busy. I set out to create a short and simple yoga sequence that made sense to children while nurturing their imagination. I used a portion of the butterfly’s life cycle and incorporated 9 yoga poses to go along with it.
A couple of months passed and I was waiting on my turn to help with the Christmas play at my church, Harvest Baptist in Burlington, NC. I watched in amazement as an artist (Renee Brown) painted a set piece with so much beauty! It was a manger scene and the animals almost appeared lifelike. I introduced myself and asked her if she would be interested in talking about some illustration work. I explained my yoga story idea and she said yes! She created the most beautiful illustrations – I remember seeing them for the first time thinking how lucky I was to have her help me bring this story to life.
I enjoy bringing yoga to little ones at The Burlington School and sometimes at Burlington Dance Center. I have read my cards to my class and then we did the poses together. The children become the butterfly and the words that started to flow from their mouths told me that it worked. After we were finished we talked about what type of flower we landed on and how it felt and smelled. Of course that prompted nice, long, deep breaths to finish our practice.
I would love to see teachers or parents use these cards with their students and/or children. In a school setting these cards can be used as a center. The youngest child that is unable to read can simply look at the pictures for instruction. The older child can read the narrative or just look at the pictures. I feel it will be a great way to introduce yoga in the classroom because of the simple 9 poses (see photo gallery below).
I am currently working on two more stories so stay tuned. Until then, go be a butterfly!