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Kids love to pretend they are animals. There are plenty of kids yoga poses to help them in this endeavor.
In my kids yoga classes, I try to teach with a weekly theme. Most often we start with several weeks of animal poses, and we use the ABC’s to help guide us. Themes are beneficial to teaching kids new information, and the ABCs are a great stepping stone to many other themes!
I currently teach pre- kindergarten through six-grade classes, and surprisingly, they ALL love doing ABC based poses, especially if they get to contribute and share their own favorite animals.
There are many Animal Yoga ABCs benefits for kids:
- 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
We go through each pose and hold it for about 10 seconds.
We say the letter, the animal name, and sometimes the sound the letter makes.
Then we try the same thing with a couple of other pose decks. My next favorite alphabet yoga set is here.
We start our animal yoga lessons by learning the poses in those books and cards.
However, none of those sets are JUST animal poses, so eventually, we decided to make up our own ABC’s of poses that are just animals.
Here’s a outline for an ABCs Kids Yoga lesson:
- Sing or say the AB’s
- Read an ABC yoga story
- Name all the poses in the ABC book that are animals
- Who thinks they can help make up more animal poses to match the other letters?
- Reminder: poses are STILL like statues, not moving around the room. We need to make the shape of the animal to make a pose.
- Write the ABCs on a chart or board
- Start with “A” and choose an animal and a pose to match
- Get as far as you can that day, and come back to it another lesson!
- Review all the poses up to where you left off each time (it takes my Kindergarten classes about 5-8 forty minute blocks to do the whole alphabet when we add in warm ups, breathing activities, and guided savasana to the lesson)
Ready to start teaching the Animal Yoga ABCs right now?
Here is a video of me doing the animal yoga poses we came up with in our ABCs.
Check us out on Instagram to see the kids doing the poses too!
Scroll down to see the poses in ABC order with descriptions for how to do each pose.
C: cat and cow
D: downward facing dog
Stand with your feet hip-width distance. Take your arms out wide, and then wrap one elbow under the other, and wrap your hands in a twist. Bend your knees deeply and pick up one leg, crossing it over the other and resting your toes on the floor, or wrapping your foot around your other ankle. Survey the land beneath your tree, then open your wings and reach your leg back to fly!
*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
Make a rainbow with a partner! Sit on your bottom, facing your partner with your knees bent. Reach for each other’s hands first, then press your feet together, and lift them up one at a time. Try to make a rainbow shape and lean back like a slippery fish!
U: umbrella bird
X: x-ray fish
Well, there you have our very own, student-created set of animal ABC Yoga poses!
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!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on animal and ABC yoga poses!
Have you come up with animal poses with your kids or classes? What were their favorites?
(Post updated January, 2020)