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Kid’s love to pretend they are animals. In my Kid’s yoga classes, we do weeks of animal poses and most of them are done in conjunction with the ABC’s. My kindergarten through second-grade classes all love doing ABC based poses, especially if they get to contribute and share their own favorite animals.
Animal Yoga ABC’s works because it is:
- fun to pretend to be animals
- easy to match animals to most letters
- gives them a chance to be a little noisy
- helps spark creativity in creating new poses
- develops literacy growth in my youngest students
I have taught animal yoga poses and the yoga ABCs in many ways.
The first was using this poster. Then I purchased the matching set of cards, book, and coloring book (affiliate links). I used those with several classes just to teach them how to do yoga poses. We would go through each pose and hold it for about 10 seconds. We’d say the letter, the animal name (and sometimes the sound the letter makes).
I did the same thing with a couple of other pose decks. My next favorite alphabet set is here.
The only issue with these two card decks is that they are not ALL animal poses. And my kiddos love animals! SO we decided to create our own set. I started with a big piece of chart paper and wrote all the letters out. We filled it in over several class periods.
During each class we would do some P.E. style warmups first, then some breathing exercises, then we would brainstorm more animal poses.
I’d call out a letter and we’d get an idea of an animal. Everybody would have about 30 seconds to come up with a pose that matches what they thought that
For some of the more obscure or odd animals, we would look up a picture of the animal on Google first, just so the kids (ESL’s especially) would know what the animal looked like.
The best part of the whole Animal Yoga Unit was being able to sneak
in other ways of learning.
- They had to experiment with different ways to shape their bodies.
- They learned body part names that they didn’t already know.
- We talked about different climates and ecosystems and landscape formations.
- I even pulled down the old world map to show kids where in the world some of these animals lived, geography!
We learned and played and had a great time! I took pictures of my students doing every pose and sent it home in a newsletter. I can’t share those here, obviously, but I compiled the list of poses and descriptions to share with you.
The list of animals we came up with was different for each class, which was one additional way to keep the lessons interesting and engaging over time!
The ABC animals that we came up with are all listed for you below, with pose descriptions added. Of course, every pose looks different in
They will certainly want to come up with their own new and interesting poses as well, which makes the lesson even more fun.
I also have a PDF of some yoga pose images that you can download from my resources library so you have all the images to use with your students or kids!
You’ll also get access to free kids yoga lessons, mindfulness scripts, and MORE when you sign up!
C: cat and cow
D: downward facing dog
*Alternate pose: downward dog with one leg up!
*Optional to bring one leg forward at a time in a low runner’s lunge
R: rainbow fish
U: umbrella bird
X: x-ray fish
Well, there you have our very own, student-created set of animal ABC Yoga poses!
I hope you enjoy them! Have you come up with animal poses with your kids or classes? What were their favorites?
If you’d like to extend the lesson to another week or if you’d like to START with some ABC yoga ideas, I recommend this ABC Yoga book.
It’s really cute and a nice big sturdy size for little hands.
Each page has a pose and really adorable illustrations.
My older students like it too!
There are lots of animals poses, but some are not animals and that’s fun too!