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Halloween is the MOST popular holiday at my school, hands down.You can’t even say the word “October” without hearing squeals of excitement permeating the hallways.Needless to say, I used this Halloween excitement to fully take advantage of how motivated kids were in my classroom the first couple of years.I drew them in with Halloween themed lessons and got them more excited about yoga and creating poses. They loved sharing their costume ideas and then creating new poses on their own and with their class.
Some of my favorite yoga lessons ever come from the creativity that surrounds this amazing holiday.We could do yoga poses and sequences based on Halloween for the entire month and almost never get bored.
I wrote up a simple lesson plan for how to teach kids yoga based on Halloween themed excitement.I hope you enjoy it!
Introduction to LessonOne of my favorite holidays is coming up… Raise your hand if you think you know what it is. HINT: it’s a holiday where you get to pretend you are something different.Yes, it’s Halloween!I love Halloween because it is a lot like yoga. In yoga, we get to pretend we are something different by making our bodies into a different shape: an animal, something in nature, or a different creature.
There are plenty of different characters that you can pretend to be as a yogi, too.To pretend to be something different today we are going to talk about what we hope to dress up as on Halloween. Then we will create a special Halloween yoga pose to match the character.One of my favorite things about Halloween is all of the pumpkins everywhere. I love the color, the different shapes, and the faces that you can carve. I would love to dress up like a pumpkin for Halloween!
Here is one way to do pumpkin poseLay on your back and bring your knees into your chest, hold onto your shins and rock up and down a few times.
Create poses together
Let’s make some other Halloween yoga poses!(I usually let them raise their hand and share some ideas of what traditional Halloween characters or items are. Here are some to get you started!)
Upward mountainStand with feet together and arms up in a “v” shape. Look up proudly and pretend to hold your cape up behind you. Stand on your tiptoes for extra balance practice!
Crescent moonStand with feet together and arms reaching up. Clasp your hands together and tilt to one side, arching your body in the shape of a crescent moon.
Witches and warlocks
Chair poseStand with your feet together and knees bent. Pretend to hold a broom in between your legs and soar from side to side.
Witches and wizards
Warrior twoStand with your feet wide. Bend one knee and point your toes in the same direction. Hover your arms out and pretend to hold a wand, swishing it over your bent leg to cast spells.
Star and horse poseStand with your feet wide apart, toes facing forward. Reach your arms up and out to make yourself into a big scary monster. Then bend your knees deep, stick out your tongue and turn your hands into claws. ROAR!
Half moonStand with legs wide and arms out to the side, toes pointing forward. Start to tilt to one side, bringing one hand slowly to the ground, and the other straight up to the sky. Pretend to be a ghost flying sideways through the air!
Cat poseKneel on hands and knees. Press your hands into the earth and arch your back up to the ceiling, tucking your chin into your chest.
Turtle poseSit on your bottom with your legs apart, knees slightly bent. Reach your arms in between your legs, under your knees, and wrap them up around your shins. Tuck your head down like a spider crouching on a web.
Cobra poseLay on your tummy with your legs together like a tail. Start with your head down like you are hiding, then on “3” press your torso up and hiss, wiggle around like a scary snake!
Challenge: Pumpkin patch
Wheel and swanIf you have the flexibility, try wheel pose and swan pose with a partner to make several circles like pumpkins in a pumpkin patch!Wheel: lay on your back with your arms bent above you, hands on the floor with fingers facing your shoulders. Bend your knees and scoot your feet close to your bottom. Press up and make an arching wheel pose.Swan: lay on your tummy with your hands by your shoulders. Press your arms straight and look up and back, arching your low bend. Bend your knees and reach your toes to your head.
Seated forward foldSit on your bottom with your legs straight in front of you. Hold your arms straight out and pretend to wake up from the dead like the monster! Bonus points if you go from laying down to sitting up to work on core strength .
SavasanaLay on the ground with arms at your sides or on your tummy. Keep your body as still as possible, only breathing slowly in and out through your nose.
Now, let’s figure out some other poses we can make up.If you plan to dress up for Halloween, and you already know what you are going to be, let’s take some time to think of a pose that represents our costumes.Give the students a minute or two of time on their mat to invent a couple of poses that might represent their characters.
Now, who would like to raise their hand to share their costume idea and pose that will go with it?Let the students share their costume and the pose. Encourage everyone else to try the pose out as well.
Popular Halloween costume ideas and poses:
SuperheroWarrior three with arms above you like you are flying through the air.
PikachuToe stand with arms out like paws (both feet on the floor).
SpidermanStar pose as if attached to the wall.
PrincessTadasana with one foot behind as if in a curtsey, hands holding a skirt.
FairyLocust pose: lie on your tummy and raise your hands and feet up off the floor as if you are flying.
MermaidSit on your bottom with your knees bent and feet tucked to one side. Twist around the opposite direction.
Another good idea to keep this theme going is to find a couple good Halloween themed books.
You can create poses to go with the characters in the book or base them off the pose ideas from above. Here are some good books for creating Halloween yoga poses with kids.
There is also a new kid’s yoga book out with Halloween yoga pose ideas that you can check out here:
I hope you liked