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Everybody loves the Irish!
(Well, maybe not the English… But here in the States we love them)
My kids at school especially love celebrating holidays. Any excuse to get a little silly and excited, right? And when it’s March in Minnesnowta and there is no sign of warmer weather, we definitely start feeling silly and wiggly.
LUCKILY yoga can help!
This week leading up to St Patrick’s Day has been extra crazy since it’s our spirit week. We have dress up days every day, which is fun, but also makes things feel a bit more hectic than normal!
What a great time to do some yoga poses then and feel calm.
We add in Mindfulness too, of course.
Check out my kids yoga lesson plan for St Patrick’s Day here!
Set an intention:
We will do yoga poses to play, have fun, and also focus our minds. Yoga poses with breathing can help our body and brain focus attention on what we need to be doing so we can do it really well.
St Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate Ireland and Irish heritage, or people who have family that have lived in Ireland. Let’s do some yoga poses to learn a little bit more about Ireland!
Warm ups to celebrate Ireland
Leprechaun hops- A mischievous fairy in Irish folklore.
Crouch in frog pose, like a little leprechaun. Hop up and down using your toes, and try to hold your arms above your head to make an arch like a rainbow.
Horseshoe taps- Horseshoes bring luck when posted above a doorway in Ireland.
Stand tall with your feet slightly apart. Lift one knee up to your tummy slowly and reach down with your opposite hand to touch the bottom of your foot for good luck! Do the other side, and then go back and forth a dozen time, using control and balance.
After warm ups, we do some deep breathing to get our bodies and minds prepare to focus on yoga.
Sit crisscross applesauce and reach your arms out to the side. Bring one arm up and over your head and reach to the side. Bring your arms back over your head one at a time and to the other side like you are tracing a rainbow over your head. Inhale one direction, and exhale the other direction.
Yoga Poses to celebrate Ireland
Blarney Castle- A famous old castle in Ireland, and there are many others!
Down dog: Press your hands into the floor and step your feet back. Lift your hips into the sky and straighten your back and legs, making a triangle (or castle!) shape with your body.
Harp- A national symbol of Ireland, the harp is a beautiful musical instrument.
Reverse Warrior: Step your feet apart and point your toes forward and diagonal. Bend your front leg and reach your arms away from you, parallel to the ground. Reach your front arm up to the sky and stretch the side of your body to make the curved shape of a harp.
Sheep- there are over 3.5 million sheep in Ireland! That’s almost as many as there are people (4.5 million)
Cat/Cow: Kneel on your hands and knees. Breathe in and let your tummy drop down towards the mat, looking forward or up. Then breathe out and pull your tummy in and arch your back up to the sky. Tuck your chin to your chest. Feel free to baa!!
Pot of Gold-The lucky pot found at the end of a rainbow!
Bow pose: Lay on your tummy and reach your hands back to your feet or ankles. Press your feet away from your body and lift your head and chest up off the floor. Pretend you are a pot of gold and rainbow is shining up out of your head!
Shamrock- A shamrock is the Irish clover with three leaves and often has flower.
Flower pose: Sit down and bring the bottoms of your fee to touch. Tuck your arms between your legs and under your knees. Lift your feet and legs up and balance on your sit bones, holding up your legs with your forearms. Try it with a partner, too!
Four Leaf Clover- A lucky shamrock with 4 leaves instead of 3.
Star pose: Stand with your feet wide apart and reach your arms far away from your body, creating a 4 leaf shape. “Float” from one foot to the other like a clover blowing in the wind.
Celtic Tree of Life- The symbol of life in Ireland is an intricate tree.
Tree pose: Stand with one foot grounded into the floor and bring your other foot to rest on your ankle or thigh. Reach your arms up to create tall branches full of life.
Potato- Potatoes grow well in Ireland and are a common food item for the Irish.
Childs pose: Sit on your feet with your knees together. Fold over your legs and rest your head on the ground. Wrap your arms around behind you and make the shape of a potato.
Practice balancing in various poses. Rest a gold coin on your head as you stand in tree, or place the coin on a lifted knee, on an outstretched hand, or other body parts in various balances. Make sure to take deep breaths to hold yourself steady.
Imagine the rainbow:
Lay in savasana, resting pose, and guide your kiddos through a short relaxation:
Lay on your back and pretend you are gazing up at the sky, whether with your eyes open or closed. Feel the soft green grass and clover beneath you, cradling your body in a soft blanket. In the distance you hear the waves of the ocean crashing beneath the tall cliffs. Imagine the bright blue sky above you, clearing after a gentle rain. The sun is starting to shine and you see a big, beautiful rainbow way up above you, stretching across the whole sky. Each color is visible, red… orange… yellow…green…blue…indigo… and violet. Think of your favorite color and imagine it wrapping around you gently, filling your body with light. You feel calm and safe and your breath is slow and steady.
When you are ready, roll to one side and give yourself a big hug. Then gently and slowly, sit up.
I hope you have enjoyed these Irish related yoga poses and have some time to practice a few with your kids or students.
Check out these other posts for more kids yoga lessons and activities!
Happy St Patrick’s Day! What other holiday poses do you try with your kids?
Click on the lessons below to get access to the Free Kid’s Yoga and Mindfulness Resources Library!